AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

Aircraft OEM Parts vs PMA Parts

While aircraft and their various assemblies have become very advanced over the years with more efficient and robust designs, regular maintenance will need to be carried out to ensure that everything remains airworthy and functional. When servicing and repairs are conducted, it is easy to assume that new parts are the best for any replacement to ensure quality. While this can indeed be true in various cases, new parts can be very expensive and one may realize that certain replacement items can even go obsolete and become unavailable over time. As such, many rely on what are known as PMA parts for their replacement needs. In this blog, we will discuss PMA and OEM parts in more detail, allowing you to understand their differences so that the best purchasing decision can be made.

PMA parts, more formally known as Parts Manufacturer Approval parts, are those produced by a third-party company with approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be authorized as an alternate part. Despite non-OEM parts having the reputation of being of poor quality, it is important to understand that PMA parts are explicitly reviewed by the FAA for the means of ensuring that quality remains consistent with the original item. Even with quality that is upheld through matching regulations, PMA parts on average are cheaper than their OEM counterparts.

In order for a product to be considered a PMA part, it must undergo a design and production approval process with the FAA. The first step is during the design approval stage, and this is where the company proves that the replacement matches FAA standards for the item in question. During the production approval stage, the company then proves to the FAA how the product will be checked and verified prior to leaving the facility after manufacturing. From there, Manufacturing Inspection District Offices (MIDO) help to ensure production and manufacturing certifications are obtained after production and quality systems are checked for their reliability. Once all is said and done, the PMA company may then continue to manufacture the part and have it installed on various FAA approved aircraft. As PMA approval covers many varying parts, one may find such alternatives for anything ranging from critical to non-critical products.

On the other hand, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are those made by the original manufacturer themself. While PMA products are generally consistent with the quality of OEM parts, OEM parts may be further designed to the specific operations or needs of a system or assembly, potentially affecting which is the best for a particular need. Nevertheless, a majority of PMA products act as suitable replacements, so your choice should be based on aspects such as cost, operational restrictions, part availability, and other such factors.

Whether you are interested in electrical contacts, fuel pump bearings, piston ring seals, air bleed valves, gear box components, or other such aircraft PMA parts, there is no better alternative to Aerospace and Defence Parts. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we provide customers with a database containing over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find products that have been sourced from thousands of leading manufacturers that we trust. As all are ready for purchase at any time, do not hesitate to begin exploring and requesting quotes.

With our peerless dedication to quality and export compliance, we proudly conduct operations with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation. Furthermore, we also uphold a strict NO CHINA SOURCING pledge, that of which guarantees that all parts ship out alongside their qualifying certifications and manufacturing trace documentation. If you would like to learn more about our offerings or simply wish to speak with a representative, give us a call or email at your earliest convenience.


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