This category contains 116 posts

Congress Proposes FAA Reauthorization that Poses Both Challenges and Opportunities for the PMA Community

Today, Congress published proposed legislation (known as the AIRR Act) to reauthorize the FAA.  The biggest headline in that bill is air traffic control privatization.  But there is plenty in this bill that could affect the PMA industry.

Typically, FAA Reauthorization Bills affect higher-level elements of the law and the FAA is more likely to directly affect PMA Manufacturers; but the AIRR Act has a large number of elements that could affect the PMA community:

Sec. 302. Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee. Congress is establishing an advisory committee that will be responsible for advising the Secretary of Transportation on policy-level issues related to FAA safety certification and oversight programs and activities.

Sec. 311. Aircraft certification performance objectives and metrics. The FAA shall establish metrics for progress toward increasing certification efficiency, increasing accountability, “achieving full utilization of FAA delegation and designation authorities,” implementing risk management and systems safety principles, increasing transparency, training personnel in auditing systems and maintaining the leadership of the United States in international aviation and aerospace.  All of these foci could be good for the PMA community.

Sec. 312. Organization designation authorizations. Establishes a new provision in the US Code for ODAs. ODAs shall have a procedures manual, shall be entitled to full delegation of functions approved in the manual, but shall be subject to regular FAA inspection. ODA holders shall cooperate fully with the FAA oversight activities. FAA shall establish an ODA Office to coordinate ODA policy and oversight.

Sec. 314. Type certification resolution process. Requires FAA to set policies and timelines for resolving type certification issues, and for elevating them when they cannot be resolved at the lower levels of the FAA.  [*** It would be nice to see this provision expanded to all design approvals, including PMAs ***]

Sec. 315. Safety enhancing equipment and systems for small general aviation
airplanes. Requires FAA to streamline the installation of safety enhancing equipment and systems for small general aviation airplanes in a manner that reduces regulatory delays and significantly improves safety. This is something that the FAA has been working on already so they should be prepared to meet Congressional deadlines.

Sec. 317. Additional certification resources. If the FAA needs to travel to a foreign country to help expedite the process of acceptance or validation of a US certificate, then the US applicant can reimburse the FAA for travel expenses (which makes it easier for the FAA to contribute to such efforts). The FAA will have to keep metrics on this, including how often requests from US applicants to enter into such an arrangement were denied.

Sec. 351. Promotion of United States aerospace standards, products, and services abroad. This section gives the FAA promotion responsibilities, which were taken out of the law a number of years ago. This limited promotion authorization is focused on international promotion, like promoting United States aerospace safety standards abroad, and facilitating and vigorously defending approvals of United States aerospace products and services abroad. It will also reiterate our commitment to working with bilateral partners.

Sec. 352. Bilateral exchanges of safety oversight responsibilities. Includes a requirement for the FAA to accept foreign airworthiness directives (ADs) issued by bilateral partners. This could impose an unworkable burden on smaller US companies to track foreign AD proposals, because it will mean that the US companies will have to comment on the foreign AD, because it will have no reasonable opportunity to comment on a US version if the FAA is required to accept foreign ADs.  Because ADs can sometimes be worded to exclude PMA alternatives, it is important that the PMA community have some redress with respect to proposed ADs.

Sec. 353. FAA leadership abroad. This will require the FAA to better support US companies in foreign acceptance or validation projects. one clear element of this will be through increased US engagement with foreign authorities.

Sec. 615. Air transportation of lithium cells and batteries. The government will establish a committee, and try to make sure that people actually comply with lithium battery shipping requirements.

Reauthorization is often a slow process, but the last reauthorization bill was a six month extension that went into effect October 1, 2015. That means that the new reauthorization bill is needed by April 1, 2016. It is possible that this ATC privatization may be contentious (General Aviation groups contend that it is an effort to shift the expense of maintaining the system into their pockets) and that could slow down the progress of the AIRR Act. If the AIRR Act cannot be passed by April then we could see another temporary reauthorization (e.g. for another six months). But it is possible that the AIRR Act could move on a fast track, and become law, later this Spring.

FAA Reiterates That ICAs are Not Proprietary Data

The FAA has published an update to Advisory Circular (AC) 120-106A,on the Scope and Recommended Content for a Contractual Agreement Between an Air Carrier and a Contract Maintenance Provider.  This advisory circular provides guidance on the terms of the relationship between an air carrier and its contract maintenance providers.

The new revision expands on the guidance and includes elements that are important to the PMA community as well.

FAA Policy Statement PS-AIR-21.50-01 is an important FAA policy statement that precludes Design Approval Holder’s from using their monopoly over the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to exact additional anti-competitive concessions.  A reason for this was because those anti-competitive concessions could undermine safety, as well as inhibiting third party development of safety improvements.

My mention of PS-AIR-21.50-01 is not the non-sequitur it might seem to be.  That guidance is now directly referenced in AC 120-106!  Section 5 of the guidance discusses elements of the contractual agreement between the air carrier and the maintenance provider.  Subsection 5(b)(4) recommends a contract clause on proprietary data, but makes it clear that this means the air carrier’s own data, and stresses that the ICAs are not proprietary data.

4) Proprietary Data. Many times, air carrier general maintenance manuals are designed for in-house maintenance. These manuals may contain proprietary or other confidential information that an air carrier may not want to share with an MP. In many cases, the MP also works on competitors’ aircraft. This has a tendency to make air carriers reluctant to share this information, and therefore they do not. The proper handling of proprietary data issues should be addressed in the contractual agreement between the air carrier and the MP.

NOTE: The proprietary or other confidential information referred to in this paragraph refers only to that information developed by an air carrier for purposes of its in-house maintenance. Proprietary or confidential information does not refer to other data to which the MP is entitled, such as instructions for continued airworthiness (ICA) under 14 CFR part 21, § 21.50(b), and in accordance with FAA Policy Statement PS-AIR-21.50-01, Type Design Approval Holder Inappropriate Restrictions on the Use and Availability of Instructions for Continued Airworthiness. Such data that is required to be made available under the regulations may not be restricted by design approval holders (DAH) with respect to an air carrier’s approved maintenance manuals, through restrictive language in the ICA, or through restrictive access or use agreements.

Some manufacturer have used ICA restrictions to preclude use of PMAs, and PS-AIR-21.50-01 helps to address those restrictions in a positives and pro-competitive manner.

Some air carriers find themselves getting conflicting information about whether ICAs are proprietary data.  We’ve written in the past about why ICAs cannot be proprietary data (e.g. they are required to be made available and this federal requirement preempts state-law trade secret protections).  Because they cannot be proprietary data, one shouldn’t use a license of that information to perpetrate anti-competitive restrictions.  This recently-published NOTE helps to emphasize the point.

Small Business Standards for Aerospace R&D, Adjusted

The Small Business Administration has adjusted the size standards for small businesses that perform research and development in the aerospace field (including businesses that are required to deliver manufactured product as part of a research and development contract).

Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences is currently categorized under NAICS 541712.  This NAICS code has three sub-industries or “exceptions.” The SBA feels that the small business standard for these companies should be consistent with that of peer companies that manufacture parts.  SBA is therefore modifying the titles of the three exceptions, and the size thresholds associated with them.

NAICS code NAICS industry title Current size standard (number of employees) New size standard (number of employees)
541712 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology) 500 1000
except Aircraft Engine and Engine Parts 1000 1500
except Other Aircraft Parts and Auxiliary Equipment 1000 1250
except Guided Missiles and Space Vehicles, Their Propulsion Units and Propulsion Parts 1000 1250

This rule change becomes effective on February 26, 2016. Full details of this change are available in the Federal Register.

US Names Denied Aviation Parties from Gambia and UK

The U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security has issued an order denying the export privileges of:

  • Ribway Airlines Company Limited (from The Gambia),
  • Af-Aviation Limited (from Wolverhampton, UK),
  • Andy Farmer (from Wolverhampton, UK),
  • John Edward Meadows (from East Sussex, UK), and
  • Jeffrey John James Ashfield (from East Sussex, UK).

This is a temporary denial order that is only valid for 180 days, unless extended.  Although published in today’s Federal register, the order is actually dated January 19, 2016. The Order prohibits the denied parties from engaging in export transactions, and it includes a prohibition against third parties exporting from the U.S. to any of these denied parties.

Absent a license that authorizes sales to these denied parties, sales of US-origin FAA-PMA parts to such denied parties may violate the temporary denial order.

MARPA members with a history of doing business with any of these parties should ensure that their future transactions remain consistent with U.S. law.  While the Order remains effective, those who are approached by any of these denied parties should exercise caution in their dealings.

KOTRA presents KORUS Aero Partnering 2016




KORUS Aero Partnering 2016

February 11th and 12th, Sacheon, South Korea

KOTRA will be hosting a two day conference and trade delegation in Sacheon, South Korea. This event serves as a venue for global aerospace manufacturing business leaders and Korean companies in exploring cooperative business opportunities.

At KORUS Aero Partnering 2016, top Korean aviation part suppliers will participate in this program, which will allow for opportunities to discuss their cutting-edge technologies and high-quality aviation parts. The event will offer valuable information on the Korean aviation parts industry and services, through pre-scheduled, one-on-one meetings, and in-depth business consultations. In addition, it will provide global networking opportunities with business leaders from North America.

During the morning of the first day, speakers from Korea Aviation Industry Association (KAIA), will be discussing the current status of the Korean aircraft parts industry and its involvement in global trade. Following the presentation from KAIA, representatives from KOTRA will be discussing the USA aircraft parts market. Wrapping up the morning session, Vince Howie, from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, is delivering a presentation regarding the US MRO market. During the afternoon session, North American aviation companies will be explaining their individual purchasing policies.

The entirety of the second day will contain one-on-one trade delegations between the US companies and Korean companies to further discuss building business relationships between the two.

With approximately 50 Korean companies in attendance, this event is a premier gateway for building bilateral trade and lasting partnerships. For more information and if interested in attending, please email or call Benjamin Brand from the NYC KOTRA office at 646-918-5854.


Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency, otherwise known as KOTRA, operates under South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE), as the national trade and investment promotion organization.  KOTRA is a non-profit agency that promotes and facilitates bilateral business relationships between Korea and the world since its foundation in 1962.

2016 MARPA Annual Conference Early Discounts Expire Soon


Time is running out to secure exhibition, sponsorship, and registration early discounts for the 2016 MARPA Annual Conference in Orlando. Reserve and pay for your registrations, sponsorship or exhibition by December 18th, before the rates go up!

With your sponsorship you will receive:

  • Recognition at the 2016 MARPA Conference
  • Logo and company profile included on conference website and other promotional materials
  • Opportunity to place a sponsor-provided branded item in conference registration packets
  • Special sponsorship name badge ribbons for each of your company’s conference attendees
  • Additional benefits associated with the level of sponsorship

In addition to the above, 2016 Conference Sponsors who reserve their spot early will receive additional exposure on MARPA’s printed marketing materials to be distributed at events such as MRO Latin America, Aero Engines America, and at the 2016 MARPA EMEA Conference in Madrid from May 23-24, 2016. These materials will be distributed to carriers world-wide. The list of sponsorship opportunities can be viewed on the MARPA website. Reserve right away to ensure maximum exposure!

You can find all of the information you need on our website, or by calling Katt Brigham at 202.628.6777.  Email

Opinions Sought on AC 33-8 (PMA on engine and APU parts)

What do you think of AC 33-8?

AC 33-8 is the “Guidance for Parts Manufacturer Approval of Turbine Engine and Auxiliary Power Unit Parts under Test and Computation.”  This guidance has been out in the industry for six years now.  A number of our members have reported that this guidance has been useful for them.

MARPA will be meeting with the FAA in four weeks and one of the topics will be AC 33-8.

Please get us your comments – positive or negative – on this document.  Let us know if it has been useful (and what has been useful, if possible).  Let us also know whether any of the AC language poses problems or could be improved.  Also, if you think that the guidance is  missing anything, then let us know what additional information could be useful in the guidance.  Please send your comments to us by email or leave a response in the blog comments.

Unique One-on-one Meeting Opportunity with Korean Aviation Companies at the 2015 MARPA Conference!

MARPA and KOTRA invite you to meet with some of South Korea’s most innovative aviation parts manufactures during the first day of MARPA’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas. On June 15th, 2015, KOTRA and MARPA signed an MOU signaling the beginning of a partnership to further bolster business between MARPA members and Korean manufacturers. KOTRA has been working with MARPA to foster relationships between Korean suppliers and US PMA companies. By working with Korean companies as partners, US companies have the ability to make these parts available worldwide.

KOTRA and MARPA have worked with several Korean companies, who were invited to the conference through the support of KOTRA, to attend the 2015 MARPA Conference to meet with their US partners. One on One round table meeting appointment times will be available on October 28th.  During these meetings, you will have the opportunity to meet and discuss potential future business initiatives with these exciting new companies..

Attending will be*:

We hope you will be able to take advantage of this unique relationship building opportunity during the 2015 MARPA Conference!

To view available timeslots, please click here.  To reserve an appointment time, please contact Benjamin Brand at KOTRA, to schedule. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and incur no additional fee. Time slots can be reserved up until registration at the 2015 MARPA Conference on October 28th, but are expected to book quickly- so don’t delay! We look forward to hearing from you soon!

*Please be advised that appointment times are scheduled based on reported availability, and are subject to change at MARPA’s discretion.

If you have any questions, please contact Benjamin Brand, KOTRA Global Partnering Consultant at (646) 918-5854 or

Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency, otherwise known as KOTRA, operates under Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE), as the national trade and investment promotion organization.  KOTRA is a non-profit agency that promotes and facilitates bilateral business relationships between Korea and the world since its foundation in 1962.







MARPA Member Opportunity for Tokyo Aerospace Symposium 2015!

MARPA is pleased to announce that we will be at the Tokyo Aerospace Symposium 2015, and you can be there too!  MARPA President Jason Dickstein will give a presentation discussing PMA and the advantages that it represents.  MARPA will have an exhibit booth at the Tokyo Aerospace Symposium 2015 for all three days of the event.  This is an excellent opportunity to further raise industry awareness about the value and benefits of PMA and about MARPA itself.

While this is a fantastic opportunity for making connections in the Japanese aerospace manufacturing market, we recognize that not ever member can afford to add this to their trade show agenda, so MARPA will be featuring literature from members at their booth.  That’s right – you can have your company literature included in the MARPA literature rack at TAS 2015 in Tokyo!

COST: Free to MARPA members (it is a membership benefit).

HOW BIG IS THIS CONFERENCE: The ASET2013 conference, this event’s predecessor, welcomed 29,417 visitors for the aerospace trade floor.

YOUR REQUIREMENTS: YOU are responsible for producing your company materials.  YOU are responsible for shipping the materials to the convention center and for alerting us to look for it.

WHAT WE WILL DO: We will keep your literature in our literature rack or on our display table (depending on factors like size and volume of member response) and hand it out to interested conference-attendees.

HOW DO I GET STARTED: Contact Katt Brigham at

We hope to see MARPA members take advantage of this opportunity, and look forward to this wonderful event.  Planning to attend?  Let MARPA know!  We’d love to see you there.

MARPA Conference Discounts End This Friday!

The 2015 MARPA Conference is a must-attend event, and time is running our to register at the discounted rate!

Your customers have already registered – the MARPA Conference has a higher air-carrier-to-manufacturer rate than any other conference.  Hear directly from your customers what they think about PMA, and how you can work with them to better your partnerships.  Erick Yep from Copa Airlines will be presenting the workshop “How Does An Air Carrier Approve A PMA?”, and MARPA Air Carrier Committee Chairman Mike Rennick from Delta Air Lines will be delivering a can’t-miss presentation titled “PMA Savings, Safety, and Reliability: An Air Carrier Testimonial”.

Have you been wondering what you can do to improve your relationship with the FAA?  Carol Giles will bring her more than 35 years of experience to you when she presents “Managing Your Relationship With the FAA – Strategies for Working Together”.  The FAA often attends the MARPA Conference to announce regulatory updates and changes that will impact your business, and this year is no exception.  Learn more and have the chance to ask questions about the upcoming revisions to Order 8120.22 directly from FAA Aviation Safety Inspector Angelia Collier.  Presentations are on the agenda to be delivered by David Hempe; AIR-2, and Robert Sprayberrry; the aerospace engineer primarily responsible for the FAA’s national PMA policy.

Click here to view the 2015 MARPA Conference agenda, and don’t forget to register and to book your room at the Renaissance Las Vegas before time runs out!


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