The FAA has issued a draft Advisory Circular (AC) that is intended to help supplemental type certificate applicants determine whether a modification involves a minor or major change to type design.
Modification and Replacement Parts Association
Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) recently reached an agreement with the FAA that extends an existing aviation treaty-level document to cover the manufacture of approved parts. The changes center on a bilateral aviation safety agreement that Australia and the U.S. signed in 2005.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued Preliminary Regulatory Impact Assessment for replacement parts. It reviews existing EASA Part 21 regulations pertaining to replacement parts and compares them with current FAA Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) regulations.
Chromalloy CF6 gas turbine blades have reached the 10,000 flight-hour mark for the first time with an unidentified major airline. The blades are produced by BELAC, Chromalloy’s joint venture with various commercial carriers who are attempting to avoid the high cost of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) blades by using alternative parts manufacturer approval (PMA) blades.
The FAA has signed a bilateral aviation safety agreement and associated implementation procedures for airworthiness between the U.S. and Japan that allows for the reciprocal certification of aircraft and aviation products.
Operators and maintenance providers have long been concerned about OEMs limiting the ability of non-factory-authorized entities to repair components or mechanics using FAA-approved parts made under Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) regulations.
The Modification and Replacement Parts Association is raising the red flag over proposed changes to U.S. export policy. Currently, a foreign-made component with 25 percent or less U.S. content is not subject to U.S. export laws when it is re-exported (sent from one foreign country to a second non-U.S. country). The minimum U.S. content drops to 10 percent for re-exports to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.
PMA manufacturers might have a harder time exporting their civilian aircraft parts due to a new International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR rule) issued by the State Department, according to the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.
The FAA is looking for comments from the industry on a revision of Order 8120.2, production approval and certification management procedures.
The FAA has updated guidance provided to field inspectors on how to determine the recommended form of approval for aircraft alterations. Maintenance and modification companies and avionics installers often encounter problems when seeking agreement with the FAA on what qualifies for field approval by FAA inspectors and what needs to go through the more time-consuming supplemental type certification or DER data approval process.