AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, AND FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

PMA and OEM Parts: Which are Better?

When one is new to the aviation market, navigating part types, standards, and other various aspects of procurement can be daunting. There are also countless requirements that many aircraft have to adhere to in order to maintain airworthiness. For instance the FAA has various guidelines and specifications for operators to reference to keep their aircraft in airworthy condition. During the servicing of an aircraft where parts need to be replaced, such items must either be an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) part or a Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) part. As both of these part types differ from one another while having overlapping characteristics, we will provide a brief overview of what OEM and PMA parts are so that you can successfully source all your requirements with ease.

OEM parts are often the top industry choice, serving as the only option for equipment needs in the early days of aviation. OEM parts are those made by the original manufacturers themselves, and such entities will produce and install the parts for the equipment in question. As the OEM is the one designing and producing all components, they are always standardized and will match the precise specifications of a replacement or repair job. OEM parts are generally very reliable, known for their established quality and performance. Despite this, OEM parts are often more expensive when compared to other options due to the fact that they are brand new and from the original manufacturer.

PMA parts are also manufactured by a company (other than the OEM) for installation on an aircraft, and they must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. To receive this approval, the PMA manufacturer in question will need to demonstrate to the FAA that the part meets industry standards for airworthiness through tests and computations. If the part is identical to a type-certified product in all aspects of design, then the tests and computations may be skipped. Once a PMA part is approved, the manufacturer can produce and sell the articles for installation.

PMA parts are considered to be an aftermarket part, meaning that they are parts made by someone other than the original equipment manufacturer. Aftermarket parts emerged after World War II, allowing consumers to manage their aircraft with ease. As PMAs became more widely available, they began to establish themselves as a competitor to OEMs, driving a divide between opinions on whether OEM or PMA parts are best. As such, one can consider common comparisons to make an educated decision on what is best for their particular needs or operation.

When considering the quality of parts, both PMA and OEM items are reliable as a result of having to undergo rigorous testing to meet required standards. While PMA parts are proven for quality through an in-depth approval process, OEM parts are successful for the fact that they are able to be used in the original equipment. As a result, both parts can be considered to be of the same quality, while PMA parts can even excel if the manufacturer addressed potential issues of the original part. For price, PMA parts are often a lower cost as they are a competitive option to OEM parts. Because of this, one can potentially save money if a PMA part is compatible with needs. Nevertheless, some assemblies or applications may necessitate the use of an OEM part.

Whether you are interested in PMA airliner components, OEM helicopter replacement parts, or other such aircraft products, Automatize Aviation is ready to serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all your operational needs. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we present customers access to over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items that have been sourced from thousands of leading global manufacturers that we trust. Once you determine the particular items that you are most interested in, fill out and submit an RFQ form at your earliest convenience. Once received, a member of our staff will reach out within 15 minutes to provide a customized quote for your comparisons. See how Automatize Aviation can help you fulfill all your operational needs with ease when you connect with one of our representatives today!


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