MARPA Issues Streamlined PMA Program; FAA Expected to Follow with Related Order

MARPA is pleased to announce the release of the MARPA 1100 Standard. This standard provides guidance in assembling a PMA application for a non-safety sensitive (NSS) aircraft part.

This guidance is meant to reflect a standard mechanism for compiling applications for FAA Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) for NSS parts. It includes the obligation to analyze the safety-sensitivity of such parts to demonstrate that they are NSS.

MARPA has been working with the FAA to help develop corollary FAA guidance to explain to FAA employees the public safety benefits of this program, and to advise the FAA on how to handle applications that are properly prepared under the MARPA 1100 standard. If the FAA concurs with the NSS analysis, then this means that the part is outside the main thrust of the FAA”s mission, because the part’s failure would not adversely affect safety. This means that the FAA may exercise discretion to rely on the statement of conformance form the applicant for purposes of making a finding of compliance (the FAA always retains the right to to examine the application themselves).

This benefits the FAA, because it allows FAA employees to devote more time to critical safety issues, and potentially decreases the amount of time spent processing PMA applications that are not safety sensitive. For applicants, the program provides a streamlined process for developing the application, and it also sets a goal of a 30-day turn-around time from application to PMA supplement issue.

The FAA plans to limit expedited treatment under this program to PMA applicants with a history of PMA applications, as those without a history are more likely to need a more complete PMA-application-package review by the FAA. Details on what this means are found in the standard.

PMA applicants who are not yet eligible for expedited treatment under this program are encouraged to use it to build their program, so that they will be able to easily move into the streamlined program for NSS parts when the applicant is eligible for the program. In addition, they may find that the additional documentation and rigor recommended by the standard reflects a useful way to prepare a PMA application for NSS parts.

The standard was developed through an industry collaborative process that included making it available for comment, and revising the drafts to reflect member and government comments. Recommendations on the standard are appreciated, and should be sent to MARPA for disposition in the second edition.

MARPA is also currently working on revisions to the MARPA Continued Operational Safety (COS) guidance, and plans to release the next revision to that guidance, soon. Members who are interested in working on this guidance should contact the Association.

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