MARPA and the Korean Trade Promotion Agency (KOTRA) delivered a PMA workshop in Seoul this week. Hosted at KOTRA Headquarters in Seoul, the workshop provided an opportunity to begin educating the Korean aerospace community about the value of FAA-PMA parts. It also afforded the PMA community an opportunity to begin strengthening business relationships with the Korean aerospace industry.
The MARPA Perspective
MARPA’s President, Jason Dickstein, spent the first day of the workshop laying the goudnwork for understaing the PMA process.
The room was packed with about 60 participants from all sectors of the Korean aeroaspace community. MARPA discussed issues like the parts approval process, the safety, reliability and economic advantages afforded by FAA-PMA, and strategies for partnering with US PMA companies in order to increase trade and increase the profis of both companies.
Three of our members attended the workshop. Representatives from Heico, Jet Parts Engineering, and the Wencor Group joined us at the workshop and had an opportunity to network with potential suppliers from Korea’s manufacturing community as well as potential customers from MROs and airlines.
The Government Perspective
We were honored to be joined by Ha Girl Chung, the Deputy Director of Aircraft Certification for Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infastructure and Transportation. Mr. Chung was a key negotiator in the recently updated technical implementation procedures for the US-Korean bilateral aviation safety agreement. He reviewed the elements of Korean law that permit the acceptance of US PMA parts in Korea, and he also explained Korea’s own ability to issue PMA for parts made in Korea.
Privately, Mr. Chung told MARPA that Korea would like to begin issuing domestic PMA. This was foreshadowed by last years update to the US-Korean technical implementation procedures, which left a specific reservation (a place holder) for US acceptance of Korean PMA parts.
The Airline Perspective
Asiana and Korean Air Lines were both well-represented at the event. Hoon Yong Kim, from Korean Air, delivered a presentation about his air carrier’s PMA policy. He explained that his carrier does not currently use critical PMA parts, but that they would like to expand their current use of non-critical PMA (critical PMAs are less than 1% of all PMAs). Mr.Kim said that they are particularly targeting interiors parts, right now, but they would like to increase both the quantity and the scope of the PMAs that they use.
What specific qualities does Korean Air seek? Mr. Kim explained that parts partners need to hold FAA PMA (other nations’ systems are currently not on his radar) and they should be prepared to support Korean Air in cooperative analysis. He described one situation where a supplier helped Korean Air perform a root cause analysis. Despite the fact that the root cause was unrelated to the supplier, the supplier provided continued engineering support. During subsequent conversations, Mr. Kim confirmed that he is looking for companies that have established systems like MARPA’s Continued Operational Support (COS) program.
The PMA Perspective
All three of the MARPA members who were on hand had an opportunity to meet and speak with the attendees. Steve Johnson from Jet Parts Engineering added some insightful questions to the workshop. Joe DePaoli of Heico explained that his company and his peers from other PMA companies were interested in opportunities to work with Korean manufacturing companies with specialized technologies, and also with Korean manufacturing companies that are already making certain types of parts and who could use those skills to manufacture parts that could be approved under FAA-PMA.
Mark Powell of the Wencor Group delivered the anchor presentation at the end of the workshop, and he summarized the process that helped to ensure that PMA parts met the highest standards.
KOTRA and MARPA have begun a partnership to promote US-Korean aerospace trade with a focus around PMA parts. MARPA members should expect – and should look forward to – future oppotunities to increase their trade with Korean businesses.