Analyst Predicts Strong Growth of PMA Parts

 - May 2, 2012, 11:30 AM

The world market for PMA Parts will reach $749 million by the year 2017, according to a report from Global Industry Analysts of San Jose, Calif. PMA Parts–A Global Strategic Business Report predicts the robust gains will be driven by Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and South America.

Once the bane of OEMs trying to sell factory-new parts to customers, PMA parts are becoming more acceptable. “We are going to explore the report in depth,” said Diane De Souza, vice president of parts services for Bombardier Customer Services. “Our operators have expressed interest in using PMA parts, and their feedback drives our overall parts strategy. Given world-wide fleet growth projections, our goal is to work with our customers and suppliers to provide the best possible service and drive part quality and availability.”

The report suggests the increase will be the result of expanding parts manufacturer approvals and certification for a “broad range of parts/components encompassing virtually every aircraft platform covered in almost every ATA chapter, ranging from engine parts, rotating airfoils, nuts/bolts, combustors and fuel pumps to interior parts.”

One industry insider takes issue with portions of the report, however.

Jason Dickstein, president of the Modification and Replacement Parts Association (Marpa), told AIN, “Many companies producing reports on the PMA market call me and ask questions that suggest they have little understanding of the industry. I’m not familiar with GIA’s qualifications, but the prediction that the PMA market will grow to $749 million by 2017 is fairly consistent with consulting firm ICF SH&E’s prediction from last year. It cited the PMA market will grow to $750 million by 2018.

“Both of those appear to be based on an underestimation of the current value of the PMA market. I can tell you that the current market estimates appear low based on confidential information that has been shared with Marpa that comes from major but quiet PMA manufacturers that are simply not among the manufacturers who are noted in the reports,” Dickstein said.

The report goes on to say the number of applications for obtaining PMA from the FAA is steadily on the rise. “Given the lucrative opportunities in the aircraft aftermarket and the growing competitiveness and emphasis on quality, component manufacturers are increasingly seeking the coveted airworthiness certification from the FAA for safety and quality assurance. Growing awareness about the reliability, quality, durability and cost benefits offered by PMA parts is leading to increased acceptance of PMA parts worldwide, which in turn is generating opportunities for the international community to produce high-quality, safe PMA parts,” according to the report.

Dickstein takes issue with the report’s prediction that growth in the PMA-approved parts market will be driven by “rising average life of aircraft and the ensuing opportunities in the aftermarket created by maintenance needs.”

“This contradicts the data I have seen, which suggests that aircraft are being parked and/or parted-out on average at a slightly younger age than in years past,” Dickstein said.