Understanding Aviation Terms


It’s not just the automobile industry that relies heavily on OEM parts. Those working with airplanes and everything that has to do with aviation know better. OEM, or Original Equipment Manufacturer, is a company which manufactures parts used by another company and sold using that same company’s brand name. These OEM parts, which are most commonly used to replace defective parts, are effective in driving down repair costs because the production of these components follows the concept of economies of scale.

While the term OEM is often used when selling automobiles, these goods actually have a market within the aviation industry as well. The number of aircraft suppliers is limited, and while most do large scale transactions, the fact remains that individuals who own their own aircrafts as well as those who work in airlines only have a little manufacturers to choose from. Because buying parts directly from your aircraft’s maker can easily lead to a steep figure, OEM parts are always sought after.

Because safety is, and always will be, a primary concern, no cost-cutting procedure should sacrifice the quality of every aircraft component purchased. The Federal Administration Aviation (FAA) knows this and has released guidelines that aircraft owners have to abide by to ensure their planes’ airworthiness.

But aside from OEMs, another term which owners of aircrafts have to acquaint themselves with is FAA PMA or Parts Manufacturer Approval. Basically, in the circumstances wherein an OEM part is no longer being produced, companies which do not hold the certificate to design and craft replacement parts are allowed to do so subject to the approval by the FAA. The Aircraft Certification Office, or the ACO, is tasked with the responsibility of approving any design submitted by any potential source. In order for an OEM to come up with PMA parts, it has to go through the same validation procedure. However, strictly OEM parts are no longer subject to approval.

What’s so great with FAA PMA approved parts is that they are the products of individuals who know the ins and outs of the industry. While it’s always a safe bet to purchase parts directly from Boeing or Airbus, this isn’t always a practical choice for aircraft owners who aren’t faring as well as the major airline companies. But with the help of these FAA PMA parts, buyers are ensured that a lot of thought went into the creation process of these components and still enjoy relatively low prices of these goods.

Anthony Roberts loves to share insights about aviation. To learn more about his interesting articles, visit

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