For the second year, MARPA was fortunate to have the U.S. Air Force speak at the MARPA Annual Conference to discuss ways for PMA manufacturers to do business in support of our military. In theory this is a great additional potential customer for PMA manufacturers, but based on some of our discussions it seems that PMA companies that have tried to work with the Air Force have run into problems. We would like to work with the Air Force to try to alleviate these issues.
The Strategic Alternate Sourcing Program Office (SASPO) has the objective of identifying and securing alternate sources of parts and repairs in order to reduce costs for the Air Force and improve procurement performance. This seems like an ideal match with the PMA community, who specializes in reliability, availability, and of course, cost savings. Sourcing parts from PMA suppliers should be an optimal way to save the U.S. taxpayer money, improve procurement performance, and improve reliability and performance of the Air Force’s aircraft. It should be win-win-win for PMAers, the Air Force, and the taxpayer.
Unfortunately, we have heard from numerous members that have sought to do business with the Air Force that they are running into serious problems at the approval stage. FAA-approved PMA parts are being subjected to “review” by engineering personnel and subsequently rejected, often for reasons that seemingly have nothing to do with safety or performance.
This is a fight that we’ve fought–and won–in the past.
I spoke with Randy Harris about these reports, and he agreed that this is frustrating. He also told me he would be receptive to hearing more about these negative experiences, because if alternate-sourced parts and repairs that SASPO identifies are being held up or rejected at some point in the process, SASPO is unable to fulfill its mission.
If SASPO can’t fulfill its mission, the U.S. taxpayer needlessly pays more to keep our armed forces flying. MARPA want’s to help SASPO fulfill its mission, and help our members do business with the U.S. Air Force. To do that we need to hear from you. What issues have you run into when trying to work with the Air Force? Where are your transactions running into a wall? Please bring us your experiences. We will work to compile them and bring them to Randy Harris and Myron Knight so that they can work to solve these issues.
Please email VP of Government and Industry Affairs Ryan Aggergaard at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you experiences.
Edit: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Myron Knight.