On March 2, MARPA had the opportunity to attend the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2017 Aviation Summit in Washington, DC. The event featured addresses and panels by the presidents and CEOs of aerospace industry leading operators, manufacturers, and service providers. Although the focus was primarily on operational issues affecting air carriers like Open Skies, airport infrastructure, and air traffic control, there were a couple of points raised by speakers that are relevant to MARPA members and the PMA industry.
During the manufacturing panel, HEICO Corporation Co-President and past MARPA Annual Conference keynote speaker Eric Mendelson, discussed the importance of choice and competition without which it becomes difficult for carriers to operate cost effectively. He used the decrease in suppliers relied upon by Boeing for successive new aircraft to illustrate the challenges facing both operators and aftermarket parts manufacturers, as competition becomes more and more restricted. He noted that the original 777 had three engine options, and approximately 17 component suppliers provided 75% of components. For the 787, those numbers fell to two engine options, and about four component suppliers for 75% of components. In the case of the new 777 there will be only one engine option and fewer still component suppliers.
This on-going reduction in suppliers means that operators face fewer and fewer choices both at the initial purchase stage and in terms of maintenance over the life of the product. This also means that those suppliers have a great deal of leverage in locking operators into long-term service agreements, which threaten PMA manufacturers.
In order to fight this phenomenon, it is vitally important that our customers be educated through their organizations as to the value of ensuring PMA is viable replacement part option, to ensure that they aren’t locking themselves into unfavorable maintenance agreements that needlessly restrict their replacement part options and drive up their costs. This will become even more important if fuel prices begin to rise, causing operators to look more aggressively for areas to realize cost savings.
Another interesting point was made later in the day, by Dennis Muilenburg, Chairman, President, and CEO of Boeing. He noted the importance of the Ex-Im Bank to financing export of US-manufactured goods, and stated that there is approximately $30 billion in deals merely awaiting the Ex-Im Bank’s board to reach a quorum. This requires one more confirmed nominee (currently, only 2 of the 5 seats are filled, and a quorum is required to approve deals over $10 million).
Although MARPA’s members aren’t generally making deals that require that level of financing from Ex-Im, having Ex-Im move out of limbo would be valuable for MARPA’s members. We’ve talked previously at conferences about the various ways the Ex-Im Bank can support MARPA’s members in exporting goods to credit-worthy customers abroad who may otherwise lack the cash flow to complete a large purchase. If Boeing’s willingness to throw its weight behind Ex-Im results in securing the stability of the bank for the future, the benefits would ripple out to the rest of the industry. This is something we will be keeping an eye on.
If you have questions about how Ex-Im can be leveraged help your PMA business, don’t hesitate to let MARPA know.
Twice in the preamble to the new part 23 rule, the FAA explains that “many part suppliers may benefit from this performance-based rule through an expected quicker approval process.”
This seems to suggest that the parts approval process will be expedited because it will be easier for an applicant for a Part 23-based PMA to demonstrate compliance under the performance-based regulations. The question on everyone’s lips is whether that will turn out to be true.
While the majority of our members are focused on parts for commercial aviation, a sizeable minority of our members produce parts for Part 23 airplanes. It is important to MARPA that these members continue to be able to obtain PMAs on a equitable and safe basis. It is equally important that they be able to enter the marketplace on an even playing field.
The new rules will facilitate use of non-standard mechanisms for approval. Under current policy (which is supported by the rule change), manufacturers may build Angle-of-Attack indicator systems according to standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ATSM). They may apply to the FAA for approval of the design via a letter certifying that the equipment meets ATSM standards and was produced under required quality systems. The FAA’s Chicago Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) processes all applications to ensure consistent interpretation of the policy. This sort of model may be used more often under the new rules.
One approach for MARPA members might be to identify other articles that could be described by industry consensus standards, and to help develop those standards in partnership with the FAA.
For PMA projects for Part 23 airplanes, the certification basis might be a prior revision level of Part 23, so be careful that you choose the right certification basis for your project. Because of this, the direct effect on PMA applications of the rule changes may not be fully understood for many years. But to the extent that the new rules permit competitors to enter the marketplace more easily (but always with adequate showings of airworthiness), the rules could represent a benefit to an industry where competition and safety innovation have gone hand-in-hand.
The new rules go into effect August 30, 2017. We are eager to hear your experiences with them.
The FAA has revised part 23 (the regulations for non-transport airplanes), and PMA applicants seeking approvals for parts that meet Part 23 requirements will need to pay attention to these changes (but remember that your certification basis might be a prior revision level of Part 23).
One change is the addition of a design metric related to ” the expected operating conditions of the airplane.”
The current rules (which are being revised) state that a designer must “take into account the effects of environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, expected in service.”
§ 23.603 Materials and workmanship.
(a) The suitability and durability of materials used for parts, the failure of which could adversely affect safety, must –
(1) Be established by experience or tests;
(2) Meet approved specifications that ensure their having the strength and other properties assumed in the design data; and
(3) Take into account the effects of environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, expected in service.
(b) Workmanship must be of a high standard.
The new Part 23 rule will require applicants for PMA for part 23 airplane parts to “design each part, article, and assembly for the expected operating conditions of the airplane.”
Sec. 23.2250 Design and construction principles.
(a) The applicant must design each part, article, and assembly for the expected operating conditions of the airplane.
(b) Design data must adequately define the part, article, or assembly configuration, its design features, and any materials and processes used.
(c) The applicant must determine the suitability of each design detail and part having an important bearing on safety in operations.
(d) The control system must be free from jamming, excessive friction, and excessive deflection when the airplane is subjected to expected limit airloads.
(e) Doors, canopies, and exits must be protected against inadvertent opening in flight, unless shown to create no hazard when opened in flight.
A related regulation continues to use the “likely environmental conditions” language of the prior regulations:
Sec. 23.2260 Materials and processes.
(a) The applicant must determine the suitability and durability of materials used for parts, articles, and assemblies, accounting for the effects of likely environmental conditions expected in service, the failure of which could prevent continued safe flight and landing.
(b) The methods and processes of fabrication and assembly used must produce consistently sound structures. If a fabrication process requires close control to reach this objective, the applicant must perform the process under an approved process specification.
(c) Except as provided in paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section, the applicant must select design values that ensure material strength with probabilities that account for the criticality of the structural element. Design values must account for the probability of structural failure due to material variability.
(d) If material strength properties are required, a determination of those properties must be based on sufficient tests of material meeting specifications to establish design values on a statistical basis.
(e) If thermal effects are significant on a critical component or structure under normal operating conditions, the applicant must determine those effects on allowable stresses used for design.
(f) Design values, greater than the minimums specified by this section, may be used, where only guaranteed minimum values are normally allowed, if a specimen of each individual item is tested before use to determine that the actual strength properties of that particular item will equal or exceed those used in the design.
(g) An applicant may use other material design values if approved by the Administrator.
What does this “expected operating conditions” language in section 23.2250 mean for test & computation applicants? This phrase is used in AC 25-25A in the context of returning a stall protection to non-icing setting. It is also used in AC 20-151 for approval of TCAS units. But neither of these resources describe what this phrase means in the context of a meeting regulatory requirements.
The FAA explains in the preamble to the rule what it means when it says “expected operating conditions.” The FAA’s explanation is not perfectly illuminating, but at least it provides some guidance about what sort of operating conditions should be anticipated and accounted-for in the design process:
“The FAA did not intend to limit this requirement only to the normal operational environment because, if the failure conditions are an expected environment, then an applicant should consider those conditions and protect the structure. Deterioration or loss of strength due to corrosion, weathering, and abrasion are all examples of failure conditions because capability has been degraded. For many years, the rule has expressly required consideration of these causes. It was an expected environment for items to be corroded, weathered, and abraded, but applicants had to consider any other causes too.”
This week you can look forward to five new features of the FAA’s recent rule changes that alter the small airplane rules, but have some minor effects on all other aircraft as well.
The new Part 23 rules become effective on Wednesday, August 30, 2017. All PMA applications subject to Part 23 and submitted on or after that date should ensure that they show compliance to the proper regulations. Your certification basis might be a prior revision level of Part 23, but as time marches on more and more projects will fall within the new Part 23 rules.
In some cases, the new Part 23 rules may make some significant changes.
One example is found in the changes involving instruments. The old rules required an airspeed indicator, an altimeter, a magnetic direction indicator, and a speed warning device for turbine engine powered airplanes. 14 C.F.R. § 23.1303 (2011). The new corollary rule does not require any specific flight instrument – instead it requires:
Sec. 23.2615 Flight, navigation, and powerplant instruments.
(a) Installed systems must provide the flightcrew member who sets or monitors parameters for the flight, navigation, and powerplant, the information necessary to do so during each phase of flight. This information must–
(1) Be presented in a manner that the crewmember can monitor the parameter and determine trends, as needed, to operate the airplane; and
(2) Include limitations, unless the limitation cannot be exceeded in all intended operations.
(b) Indication systems that integrate the display of flight or powerplant parameters to operate the airplane or are required by the operating rules of this chapter must–
(1) Not inhibit the primary display of flight or powerplant parameters needed by any flightcrew member in any normal mode of operation; and
(2) In combination with other systems, be designed and installed so information essential for continued safe flight and landing will be available to the flightcrew in a timely manner after any single failure or probable combination of failures.
This new language leaves it up to the designer to identify the parameters for the flight that the flight crew must set or monitor. This potentially undermines other related regulations, though. For example, the instructions for continued airworthiness regulations require the design approval holder to publish instructions “for each appliance required by this chapter” [meaning the FAA’s safety regulations]. Under the old regulations, it was clear that the instructions for the airspeed indicator, the altimeter, and the magnetic direction indicator were required to be part of the instructions for continued airworthiness. Under the new regulations, this linkage is less plain, and will likely lead to a need for additional FAA guidance.
On the other hand, the new performance-oriented standard may allow PMA applicants greater freedom in designing new improvements to instruments in order to give the flight crew greater information and greater control over the information.
Those readers of the MARPA blog who have attended a MARPA Annual Conference in the past two years probably heard the FAA’s David Hempe give a presentation discussing the transformation currently underway at the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) division. As we have previously discussed here and elsewhere, the goal of this transformation is to shift AIR from a compliance-based certification strategy (wherein an applicant makes a showing and the FAA issues a finding on a one-for-one basis) to an oversight-based certification strategy (wherein the FAA focuses more broadly on standards and systems oversight in order to ensure applicants are remaining compliant). Mr. Hempe’s presentations have provided a great deal of information and insight into this transformation, and MARPA is grateful for his participation and willingness to answer conference attendee questions over the course of the conference.
Obviously, such a transformation will require change by industry; but more importantly the FAA understands that it will also require a culture shift within the agency itself to reflect this change away from a compliance model toward an oversight model. To that end, the FAA has offered a briefing to applicants and approval holders (those who will be affected by the AIR transformation) to offer an update on where the transition stands and what to expect as AIR reorganizes.
The briefing first notes the benefits of the AIR transformation. These are worth reiterating:
The next step in reorganization implementation will be the first step visible to industry. AIR will begin realigning the organization to shift the existing offices, like ACOs and MIDOs out of the current directorate structure and into alignment with AIR’s functional divisions. For instance, ACOs will all be aligned under the Compliance & Airworthiness Division, while MIDOs will align under the System Oversight Division. Currently, both ACOs and MIDOs are spread across the Transport Directorate, Small Airplane Directorate, Engine and Propeller Directorate, and Rotorcraft Directorate. This creates significant unnecessary redundancy and confusion, particularly if a company designs and manufactures parts for different categories of products.
After realignment, the Directorate structure will no longer exist.
Because of the nature of the process, existing industry Points of Contact will be retained during realignment to ensure relationships are maintained and contact with appropriate employees is facilitated. This is an important feature because as with every transition there exists the possibility for confusion.
AIR will continue to brief industry on the transition and solicit industry feedback as it progresses. MARPA encourages you to maintain a consistent dialogue with your FAA contacts to let them know about any problems with the transition or implementation that you identify, particularly if it the transition messages don’t seem to be reaching the personnel you deal with regularly. MARPA would also be happy to hear feedback from our members so that we can bring any concerns or positive feedback from you to the FAA. Please feel free to email VP of Government and Industry Affairs Ryan Aggergaard at email@example.com if you have feedback on the AIR transformation process.
A new regulation has changed the destination control statement (“DCS”) that is required on all exports of PMA aircraft parts.
PMA aircraft parts are typically exported under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). If you export aircraft parts, then the BIS regulations require a DCS. These regulations have been changed to harmonize the DCS to the same language as the ITAR DCS.
Te DCS is placed on each export control document that accompanies an export shipment. The export control documents that are required to show this statement include the invoice, the bill of lading, the air waybill, and any other export control document that accompanies the shipment from its point of origin in the United States to the ultimate consignee or end-user abroad.
This is sometimes known as the ‘non-diversion statement’ because the current version includes language stating that “diversion contrary to U.S. law is prohibited.” The purpose of the DCS was to alert parties outside the United States that the item is subject to the US export regulations.
The rules have always held that compliance with the comparable ITAR requirement was an acceptable means of compliance where the shipment included both ITAR and EAR-controlled articles. The comparable ITAR requirement requires slightly different language. Many people nonetheless found the different language in each regulation to be confusing.
The Commerce Department has changed their DCS language to harmonize it with the ITAR-required-language. This is meant to make compliance easier. Starting on the implementation date of the rule (November 15, 2016), exporters of articles subject to BIS jurisdiction (those with ECCNs) should use the following destination control statement on all exports:
“These items are controlled by the U.S. Government and authorized for export only to the country of ultimate destination for use by the ultimate consignee or end-user(s) herein identified. They may not be resold, transferred, or otherwise disposed of, to any other country or to any person other than the authorized ultimate consignee or end-user(s), either in their original form or after being incorporated into other items, without first obtaining approval from the U.S. government or as otherwise authorized by U.S. law and regulations”
In addition, the DCS should show the Export Commodity Classification Number (ECCN) for any 9×515 or ‘600 series’ (nx6nn) items being exported.
There are exceptions to this DCS requirement for EAR 99 exports and also for exports under license exceptions BAG (baggage) and GFT (gift parcels and humanitarian donations), but typically these do not apply to exports of PMA aircraft parts.
For years MARPA has talked about opportunities that exist for PMA manufacturers willing to look for non-traditional customers. One of the most under-appreciated possibilities, and one that MARPA President Jason Dickstein has emphasized, is to act as a supplier to OEMs. OEMs are very often massive companies with a need for quality, reliable suppliers, and many MARPA members are ideally positioned to take advantage of OEM purchasing needs with high quality approved parts on the shelf and ready to ship.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is presenting a program on becoming a supplier to Embraer. Because many PMA companies are already manufacturing parts for Embraer aircraft, this may be an excellent opportunity to broaden your customer base for your Embraer parts.
The program will begin with a presentation made by Embraer representatives on how to initiate a relationship with Embraer. This presentation will be made by webinar on October 28, 2016. Participation in this introductory webinar is a mandatory part of the program, so if this is something your company may even be remotely interested in, you should plan to register and participate.
Interested companies will then be asked to fill out an online questionnaire from which Embraer engineers will evaluate companies and select suppliers for a second round of webinar discussions with Embraer’s engineering department. Embraer may then invite select companies for a further in-depth interview.
There is no cost to participate in this program, and it presents an opportunity to potentially expand parts sales. MARPA has often said that OEMs should be thought of as no different than air carriers from a customer perspective: they need parts, and we manufacture and sell great parts. This could be an excellent opportunity for MARPA members to diversify their customer base.
If this opportunity sounds like something your company may be interested in, you can register for the mandatory introductory webinar at the following link: http://2016.export.gov/california/losangelesdowntown/events/embraer/eg_us_ca_102435.asp.
14 C.F.R. 21.137(o) permits Production Approval Holders, like PMA companies, to issue their own 8130-3 tags for new parts (without recourse to a designee).
In order to issue 8130-3 tags, the Production Approval Holder (PAH) must develop and implement procedures addressing the selection, appointment, training, management, and removal of individuals authorized to issue 8130-3 tags. MARPA published a compliance checklist to aid our members last Fall, and it provides suggestions about how to draft the procedures. This was a members-only document so if you are a MARPA member and need a fresh copy of the checklist then please contact us directly.
On June 24, the FAA published additional guidance (Policy Number AIR100-16-110-GM16) to assist industry in using this new rule. Some key points raised in this new guidance include:
a. 14 CFR part 21, subpart L,
b. Applicable bilateral agreements,
c. Advisory Circular 21-2, Special Requirements of Importing Countries, Appendix 2, and
d. Chapters 1, 2, and 4 of FAA Order 8130.21, Procedures for Completion and Use of the Authorized Release Certificate, FAA Form 8130-3, Airworthiness Approval Tag.
e. The training must include potential differences in how the forms are issued for domestic vs. export use.
The revisions to the Maintenance Annex Guidance are requiring repair stations to increase their need for 8130-3 tags so it is important for PMA manufacturers to implement 21.137(o) programs to make those tags available.
If you are having problems implementing 8130-3 tag procedures because the local FAA office is not cooperating, then please let MARPA know so we can assist you.
As part of its ongoing drive to increase the export of U.S.-made PMA parts and increase global knowledge and understanding of PMA, MARPA has in the past few years traveled to Japan to speak with potential customers, government contacts, and manufacturing partners. MARPA is happy to announce that it will continue these efforts this year at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition 2016, in Tokyo, Japan, October 12-15.
We have worked closely with long-time MARPA member and MARPA supporter Akira “Jay” Kato of JK Tech Consulting to make valuable contacts in Japan and discuss PMA at a very high level with Japanese customers and government officials. These efforts include both explaining and educating air carriers and their purchasing groups about PMA, as well as, importantly, promoting the use of PMA by discussing the safety, value, and reliability PMA provides.
These efforts are one prong of MARPA’s ongoing MDCP efforts supported by the U.S. International Trade Administration.
MARPA hopes to continue to make valuable contacts in the Japanese aviation community, and particularly to make additional inroads on behalf of the PMA industry with customers in Japan.
While MARPA always enthusiastically promotes the benefits of PMA where ever it goes, we would like to be able to provide a more targeted benefit to our members. We would therefore like to offer to our members the opportunity to display your marketing literature in the MARPA booth at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition. This will allow us to direct visitors at the MARPA booth to those members who can best serve their needs or might be an ideal partner for future business.
If you would like to have your literature displayed in the MARPA booth this October in Tokyo, please contact Senior MARPA Program Manager Katt Brigham at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than September 30.
Many of our members have been communicating with us about their concerns over the proposed Materials AC. We had previously asked the PMA community to send us their comments and concerns so we could assemble them into a single missive to deliver to the FAA.
We’ve heard from a number of you that the large volume of material and the highly technical nature of the proposed AC has made it slow going to put together your comments. With this in mind, MARPA asked the FAA last week for a extension of time to file comments on this draft.
We received the answer today, granting that extension.
Dear Mr. Ryan Aggergaard,
This e-mail is in response to your request to grant a 90 day extension to comment on the FAA public draft Advisory Circular 33.15-3, titled “Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) Metallic Part Material Compliance Using Comparative Test and Analysis Method for Turbine Engines or Auxiliary Power Units”.
The FAA will consider comments after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay.
We have determined there will be no incurring expense or delay, and will grant the MARPA members and the MARPA Technical Committee an extension from July 20, 2016, to October 18, 2016.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Please do not wait until October to review this AC and develop your comments. The earlier you can provide your comments and concerns to the FAA (and to MARPA), the better able we will be to address them in a positive and productive way with the FAA.