FAA Changes Rule on Commercial Parts

 - August 25, 2010, 11:16 AM

Changes to the FAR Part 21 manufacturing rule published last October 16 are slated to go into effect on April 16 next year, including a modification to the standards for manufacturing. Currently, only parts specifically manufactured for installation in type-certified aircraft are regulated by the FAA, but the changes would expand the parts covered. “At issue are commercial parts, those parts that are made for other industries that are not regulated by the FAA at the point of manufacture but find their way legally into aircraft, such as small light bulbs and non-structural fasteners,” Jason Dickstein, general counsel for the Aviation Suppliers Association (ASA), told AIN. “The new regulation expands the scope of parts that will be subject to the FAA’s PMA rules. For example, if a light-bulb manufacturer sells its light bulbs to aviation-industry customers [or knows that its distributors make such sales], then the manufacturer should know that such articles are reasonably likely to be installed on aircraft. Under this situation, the manufacturer must obtain a PMA in order to continue making those articles,” he said. “I’m afraid what’s going to happen is a manufacturer of commercial parts will start labeling them as ‘not for use in aircraft.’”