The PMA (Parts Manufacturer Approval ) forms an integral segment of the Aircraft parts manufacturing industry. Its parts and designated engineering representative (DER) repairs are a part of aftermarket service products provided by third-party organizations which are certified by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). The FAA deems these parts interchangeable with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or repairs. Present market trends suggest that all key U.S. carriers use PMA parts and DER repairs in their fleets. This practice is followed to introduce competition, optimize cost and maintain a steady supply of parts and services. Operational airlines have to ensure the timely repair of parts and components to ensure the robust functioning of a given aircraft.
It is noted that within the United States, it is generally considered illegal to install a replacement or modify parts on an aircraft without an airworthiness receipt within the aircraft parts manufacturing industry. The two main kinds of airworthiness stamps or parts manufacturing approval within this market are noted to be Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) or Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA). It is noted that PMA holding manufacturers are allowed to retrofit or make changes to a given aircraft though they are not the OEM that designed and developed the same. The process is noted to be analogous to aftermarket parts for the automobile market.
Major factors driving the growth of the market
One of the major factors that drive the growth associated with the aircraft PMA parts market is the growth of the global MRO and aftermarket vertical. The instating of PMA opens the market for third-party suppliers of parts and services thus increasing the competition within the MRO segment. The increased remodeling and refurbishing of old aircraft models is noted to be one of the key factors which are poised to drive the global aircraft PMA parts market.
Trends influencing the growth of the market
Growing trade and geo-political relations across the global markets are noted to be some of the key factors which are poised to drive the growth associated with this market. The instating of policies and norms that facilitate the operation of PMA is noted to be a primary driver for the commercial aircraft PMA market. With the majority of its major trading partners, the United States has bilateral aviation safety agreements (BASA), and according to their standard language, these trading partners must treat FAA-PMA as an importable aircraft part that is airworthy and qualified for installation on aircraft registered in the importing jurisdiction. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which has written a guide on accepting PMA parts, has helped to expedite this procedure.
It should be anticipated that other jurisdiction will soon enter the PMA market since they have implemented PMA legislation and are collaborating with trading partners to gain approval for their PMA sectors. The shipment of these parts to the United States as airworthy aircraft parts is, for instance, permitted by Japan’s PMA laws and bilateral agreement with the United States.
One key factor which is poised to drive the growth associated with the global MRO market is the expanding commercial aviation fleet globally. As per Boeing, in 2019 there were 25,900 aircraft in the world’s active commercial fleet. The market is expected to see an 82% increase in jets between then and 2041 when the value of the world’s commercial fleet will reach 47,080. The growth in air passenger demand and the increased affordability of flights is noted to be the key factors that are poised to drive growth.
RAND was noted to have conducted a study that compared the OEM parts and services provided for two engines in specific which were used in the commercial aviation segment, they were noted to be CF6-50 and CFM56-2. It was noted that the engine overhaul costs of the CF6-50 were reduced by a value of roughly 20-25% due to the incorporation of PMA parts and DER repairs. The study stated that the substitute PMA part was used only occasionally for the CFM56-2 however, significant cost optimization was obtained as a result of this design decision.
The study also stated that there were certain limitations associated with the implementation of PMA, i.e. there was an imminent risk associated with the failure of PMA parts. Another perceived risk was the response of non-OEM vendors to OEM vendors within the market, i.e. the increased proliferation of PMA suppliers is poised to drive the competition within the commercial aviation aftermarket.