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Over decades, OEMs have used multiple techniques to limit PMA adoption. In 2008, an engine OEM even ran an advertisement showing a second-rate Elvis impersonator with the headline “Let’s face it, lookalikes never perform quite like the original.”  This campaign led to an immediate response by the FAA  confirming PMA parts are treated equal to OEM parts. 

PMA part sales are reported within HEICO’s FSG segment and can  earn ~50%+ EBITDA margins , on par with OEM aftermarket sale margins. Although PMAs are approved on identical fit, form, and function of OEM parts, commercial aftermarket penetration has stagnated at ~3% for the last decade. This is largely due to OEMs increasingly aggressive tactics to prevent PMA growth.  

We’ve been interviewing Former HEI, Wencor, Jet Parts, airline and MRO customers to understand how OEMs actively combat airline adoption of PMAs and how companies like HEI can respond. 

How do OEMs react when Delta or United approve a PMA?

How are OEMs tweaking the warranty and repair manuals to prevent shops from understanding expendables in subassemblies? 

And what can HEI and other PMA shops do to react to OEM pressure?  

This analysis walks through the certification differences between OEM and PMA parts, airline aftermarket decision making, and strategies OEMs like Honeywell and Eaton use to combat PMA adoption.

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