Frequently Asked Questions

What is FAA-PMA?


FAA-PMA stands for Federal Aviation Administration-Parts Manufacturing Approval. It is one method in which the FAA conveys airworthiness to an aircraft part. A PMA part is typically a replacement for an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) part. FAA-PMAs are non-exclusive approvals, but there is a rigorous process involved in obtaining approval. A FAA-PMA holder must demonstrate to the FAA that their replacement part is “Equal to or better than” the part it replaces.

What is TSO?


TSO is a Federal Aviation Administration designation that stands for Technical Standard Order. It is another method in which the FAA conveys airworthiness to an aircraft part. Very often (but not always), a TSO part is a replacement for an original part. A TSO-produced part must only meet minimum prescribed FAA-mandated standards or requirements.

What’s the difference between a FAA-PMA part and a TSO part?


There are a couple of important differences. One difference is that an FAA-PMA part carries a requirement for the PMA holder to document to the FAA where this part can be used on the aircraft, engine, or propeller. The PMA holder must also include this information on the PMA supplement letter and parts packaging. This information is referred to as the part’s “eligibility.”

With a TSO part, the installer makes the decision on where the part is used. Another thing that is different between a PMA part and a TSO part is the nature of their approval. A PMA holder must demonstrate to the FAA that the part that is being produced is equal to or better than the original (OEM) part it replaces. In contrast, a TSO-produced part must only meet minimum prescribed FAA-mandated standards or requirements.

Can my company use FAA-PMA or TSO parts?


FAA-PMAs are rapidly gaining acceptance around the world as more customers have come to rely upon the quality, performance, availability, and cost savings of PMA and TSO parts. If you have any doubts or reservations, please check with your Quality Control Manager and FAA-PMI (Principle Maintenance Inspector) or contact us to arrange a time when we can meet with your Quality Manager or Engineers to discuss your issues in greater depth.

Do Boeing/Airbus parts need a PMA to be sold in the aftermarket?


If the supplier to Boeing is selling to anyone other than Boeing, then a PMA is required. Boeing is the PAH, TC Holder or STC holder (Production Approval Holder, Type Certificate Holder, or Supplemental Type Certificate Holder) as defined by the CFRs. If a part is not PMA or TSOA approved, the part must first go through Boeing’s Quality program to be deemed as airworthy. Unless the parts are covered by PMA, TSO, or other means of FAA approval, the only customer that should buy alternate parts that are represented as meeting the Boeing Specifications are actual suppliers to Boeing.

What are the labeling and packaging requirements for a PMA part?


A PMA part must be marked with the letters “FAA-PMA” on the part itself and/or the packaging. (An exception exists if the marking will be too small or if marking the part will be otherwise impractical. In such a case, it may be tagged or labeled in such a manner that is acceptable to the administrator [FAA]). The installation eligibility must also accompany the part. In addition, a PMA part must also be supported by a PMA supplement letter that shows what part it replaces and its installation eligibility.

Can I buy alternate parts if they appear in the component IPC or overhaul manual?


You can only buy an alternate part if the part is covered by a PMA or TSO approval. The interchange information contained in an IPC or Overhaul Manual is not considered by the FAA to be “approved data.” Just because the component manufacturer chooses to include optional information in their manual does not mean that it automatically conveys airworthiness.

The burden of installation of such a part is on the installer. We strongly recommend that any FAA Repair Station that purchases and installs parts that are listed in their manuals as alternates receive written authorization from their PMI (FAA Principle Maintenance Inspector). (Your next PMI might not agree and want to know the basis of your actions.)

Can you provide PMA parts that are OEM proprietary?


Yes! We do not use Identicality to obtain PMA on OEM proprietary parts. We use another FAA-approved method that is called Test and Analysis or Test and Computations, which is sometimes referred to as reverse engineering. First, we study and understand the part function, application, and criticality. Then, we capture all necessary dimensions, features, and characteristics of the OEM part. We use this information to create our own production drawing to produce the PMA replacement part.

Who makes your parts?


We have a strategic alliance with JCM, a state-of-the-art manufacturer of precision-machined components for the aerospace industry. JCM produces most of our parts/components. We also have a host of qualified suppliers in the southwest that manufacture parts for Alliance Aerospace Engineering.

What is the delivery time for your parts?


We can usually ship the same day with an overnight delivery.

How do your parts compare to the competition?


1. Quality: Our parts are built under the most stringent FAA and ISO/AS9001 requirements to ensure safety.

2. Cost: Our supply chain management ensures that we maintain a competitive cost advantage, which in turn provides our customers significant savings compared to OEMs and other PMA houses.

3. Delivery: Alliance maintains stock to ensure immediate order fulfillment.