Europe Warming to Aftermarket Parts System
While aftermarket FAA-approved aircraft parts made by companies holding FAA Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) are common in the U.S., there is no PMA equivalent for companies in the rest of the world that want to manufacture aircraft parts outside the sanction of OEMs. Jason Dickstein, president of the Modification and Replacement Parts Association (Marpa), recently met with EASA officials to discuss European support for aftermarket parts manufacturing. According to Marpa, EASA had considered creating new rules to allow PMA-like manufacturing in Europe, but “this idea has been abandoned in favor of working within the existing regulatory framework.” A stumbling block, however, is that current EASA rules appear to require recertification of the entire aircraft for any kind of aftermarket-manufactured part, even if that part has no effect on most systems or airworthiness of the aircraft, according to Marpa. However, the EASA is looking at guidance that would interpret existing regulations to allow a more reasonable way of proving that an aftermarket part is safe. “We had a productive discussion with EASA, and we are looking forward to continuing our discussions,” Dickstein reported.