Information on the FAA Regulation of the Aircraft Parts Manufacturing Industry

B-214803: Published: Apr 16, 1984. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) practices and procedures to regulate aircraft and engine parts manufacturers.

FAA has tried to change the Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) process for several years to eliminate procedural burdens, improve safety, and standardize the process between FAA regions. However, parts manufacturers have resisted the changes because they believe that the FAA actions would restrict small business opportunities, and original equipment manufacturers are concerned about protecting proprietary design data. GAO found that parts manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers have generally been satisfied with the PMA process. FAA officials and those who use parts manufactured under the PMA process found no safety problems with the parts. GAO found that original equipment manufacturers, parts manufacturers, and repair facilities oppose an FAA-proposed rule to allow parts certification without FAA verification because of air safety.