[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 38 (Monday, February 27, 1995)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 10480-10482]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-4760]



Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 21

Replacement and Modification Parts; Enhanced Enforcement

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of policy on enforcement.


SUMMARY: This is a notice of the FAA's policy to enforce full 
compliance with certain regulations on producing modification or 
replacement parts for sale for installation on type certificated 

DATES: Preliminary applications for parts manufacturer approvals must 
be submitted by May 30, 1995.

Production and Airworthiness Certification Division, AIR-200, FAA, 800 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, (202) 267-8361.


    In the past few years, there has been increased awareness of, and 
concern about, the use of unapproved parts on aircraft. It is not 
acceptable for persons to produce parts without complying with Federal 
Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.3030(a)). It is the FAA's intention to 
ensure that all persons who produce parts for sale for installation on 
type certificated products comply with the regulations. The FAA 
recognizes that some producers may have relied on previous FAA 
statements and practices regarding enforcement of the rule. 
[[Page 10481]] Therefore, the FAA is publishing this notice to ensure 
industry-wide awareness of the agency's intent to enforce the 
regulations governing all persons who produce modification or 
replacement parts for sale for installation on type certificated 
    Section 21.303(a) of the Federal Aviation Regulations provides that 
no person may produce a modification or replacement part for sale for 
installation on a type certificated product unless it is produced 
pursuant to a parts manufacturer approval (PMA). Section 21.303(b) 
provides exceptions to this requirement, including parts produced under 
a type or production certificate (TC or PC), parts produced by an owner 
or operator for maintaining his own product, parts produced under an 
FAA technical standard order (TSO), and standard parts (such as bolts 
and nuts) conforming to established industry or U.S. specifications. A 
person who holds a PMA, TSO authorization, or PC, or who holds a TC and 
produces under that TC, often is referred to as a production approval 
holder (PAH).
    Under the regulations, a PAH may engage another company (commonly 
called a supplier) to manufacture all or a portion of the part. In the 
case of fabrication of complete parts, the PAH must implement 
procedures to ensure that the parts are fabricated and inspected using 
the PAH's FAA-approved quality control system. The completed parts 
fabricated for the PAH by the supplier are produced ``under'' the PAH's 
approval. The PAH may authorize the supplier to ship parts directly 
from the supplier to the customer. This commonly is referred to as 
``direct ship'' or ``drop ship'' authority.
    In some cases, such suppliers have been producing additional parts 
without the direction of the PAH, and selling them directly to others 
in the aviation industry. In such cases, because the PAH has not 
exercised the required control over the fabrication of the parts, the 
parts are not produced ``under'' the production approval.
    There appears to be a widespread misconception that any production 
of a party by a supplier (of that part) to a PAH is not a violation of 
Sec. 21.303(a). Historically, the FAA did not vigorously enforce 
compliance with Sec. 21.303(a) in these circumstances. Thus, the FAA 
has been attempting to promote full industry compliance with the rules, 
but has so far met with only limited success.
    By Notice 8110.44, dated September 25, 1992, the FAA chartered the 
Parts Approval Action Team (PAAT) to develop policies and procedures to 
facilitate approval of PMA applications by suppliers to PAHs. Under 
PAAT Phase I, the FAA issued Notice 8110.45, dated September 25, 1992. 
That notice provided simplified procedures for the issuance of PMAs to 
suppliers who showed evidence of a licensing agreement with a PAH. 
Under Phase II, the FAA issued Notice 8110.51, dated May 13, 1994. That 
notice provided procedures for the issuance of PMAs to suppliers who 
could show that their product design was identical to that of a part 
produced under a TC.
    The intent of Phases I and II was to ensure compliance with 
Sec. 21.303 by suppliers who were shipping directly to customers 
outside of the PAH's approval, but who could demonstrate that they were 
producing a part whose design and quality control already had been 
approved by the FAA. Unfortunately, there has been insufficient 
response from the suppliers, and there continues to be suppliers 
producing placement and modification parts for sale for installation on 
type certificated products without a PMA and without direct or drop 
ship authority from a PAH.
    Inaction by the FAA as well as statements made by agency officials 
may have contributed to this fact. Shortly after Phase I was issued in 
October 1992, the then--Director of the Aircraft Certification Service, 
anticipating a significant transition period in approving many parts 
produced by suppliers, advised FAA field offices to refrain from 
directing such suppliers to cease shipment of such parts, and to 
encourage them to apply for PMAs. This direction was widely circulated 
within the industry.
    Further, there are other persons (not suppliers to a PAH) who may 
be producing parts for sale for installation on type certificated 
products and who also do not hold a PMA.
    The overall purpose of this new policy is to make clear that the 
FAA will undertake enhanced enforcement of Sec. 21.303(a). This policy 
makes provisions for a 90-day period during which persons may begin 
application for a PMA without the information in the application being 
used to initiate enforcement. During this period and immediately 
thereafter, the agency will, of necessity, devote the bulk of available 
FAA resources to securing compliance through processing the anticipated 
new applications. Accordingly, enforcement for this brief period may be 
constrained by the availability of resources, and will be focused on 
immediate safety concerns. Thereafter, agency resources will be freed 
to effect a balanced enforcement posture across the board.
    Note that the policy in this notice applies only to persons who 
produce parts. It does not affect the responsibility of persons who 
maintain aircraft. Under Sec. 43.13(b), each person maintaining or 
altering, or performing preventive maintenance shall do that work in 
such a manner and use materials of such a quality that the condition of 
the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance worked 
on will be at least equal to its original or properly altered condition 
with regard to qualities affecting airworthiness. Persons installing 
parts on aircraft continue to be responsible for ensuring that the 
product will meet the appropriate airworthiness standards.

Compliance Policy

    1. Each person who produces modification or replacement parts for 
sale for installation on type certificated products, must comply with 
Sec. 21.303(a), and is subject to enforcement action by the FAA for 
failure to do so.
    2. If a person who produces parts not in compliance with 
Sec. 21.303(a) applies for a PMA as described below, neither the fact 
that the application for a PMA is filed under paragraph 3 nor the 
information contained in such application will be used by the FAA to 
initiate, or be used as evidence in, any FAA enforcement investigation 
for a violation of Sec. 21.303(a), except as provided in this policy.
    3. The person must submit at least a preliminary application for 
PMA no later than May 30, 1995. All such applications should be 
submitted as soon as possible to enable the FAA to evaluate them, and 
where they qualify, issue the PMAs as soon as possible. If the 
applicant fails to pursue the PMA in a timely manner, the FAA may 
determine that the application should be denied. If the FAA determines 
that no approval can be issued for the production of the part, the 
applicant may not produce the part for sale for installation in type 
certificated products, and the applicant would be subject to 
enforcement action if the part is thereafter produced.
    4. The preliminary application under paragraph 2 must include at 
least the part number and nomenclature, the name and address of the 
manufacturing facilities at which the parts are manufactured, and the 
holder of the production approval to whom the applicant currently 
supplies the parts or has supplied the parts in the past (if 
applicable). The preliminary applications should be submitted to the 
appropriate geographic certification directorate. Complete applications 
in accordance with Sec. 21.303(c) must be [[Page 10482]] submitted by 
July 27, 1995. The geographic certification directorates are:

Federal Aviation Administration, New England Region, Engine and 
Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 
01803, (617) 238-7100
Federal Aviation Administration, Central Region, Small Airplane 
Directorate, 601 East 12th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106, (816) 426-
Federal Aviation Administration, Northwest Mountain Region, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, WA 98055-4056, 
(206) 227-2159
Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, Rotorcraft 
Directorate, 2601 Meacham Boulevard, Ft. Worth, TX 76137-4298, (817) 

    5. If the FAA is informed through a source other than an 
application, as discussed in paragraph 2, that an applicant may be 
producing parts in violation of Sec. 21.303(a), the FAA will 
investigate and take action as necessary and appropriate to enforce and 
ensure future compliance with the rule.
    6. Nothing in this policy precludes the FAA from taking action for 
violations of regulations or laws other than Sec. 21.303(a), or 
referral to another government agency for appropriate action.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 17, 1995.
Thomas E. McSweeny,
Director, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 95-4760 Filed 2-23-95; 8:45 am]