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Understanding civil aviation authority manufacturing requirements

Learn about the Federal Aviation Authority Production Approval Holder designation and what it means for your business

3 min read


Understanding civil aviation authority manufacturing requirements

From The Angelus Corp

Ryan Beech

This post is sponsored by The Angelus Corp.

Navigating the Federal Aviation Authority’s Production Approval Holder process can be complicated. As many in the industry face certification challenges, working with a partner to make sure you have the right parts is critical. In this post, we talk with industry leader Ryan Beech of CertifyNation about the nuances of this process and benefits for the global aviation community.


What does it mean to be a Federal Aviation Authority Production Approval Holder (FAA PAH)?

An FAA PAH is a company or legal entity that holds any one of the following approvals issued by the FAA: a production certificate (PC), an approved production inspection system (APIS), a parts manufacturer approval (PMA) or a technical standard order (TSO) authorization. The approval holder controls the design and is responsible for product quality. CertifyNation holds FAA PMA on several parts and installation kits for aircraft retrofit modifications.

How is this designation achieved?

A company or legal entity must apply to their geographic FAA Manufacturing Inspection Satellite/District Office (MISO/MIDO) in accordance with the procedures and requirements contained in 14 CFR Part 21 Subpart F, G, K or O, and Advisory Circular 21-43. 

Once the application is accepted, the MISO/MIDO will review the applicant’s quality management system (QMS) and then conduct an on-site audit or inspection of the applicant’s production facility. If the MISO/MIDO is satisfied with the QMS review and facility inspection, the MISO/MIDO will issue the production approval letter, in the case of CertifyNation a PMA letter.


How does/can CertifyNation’s FAA PAH benefit their customers?

All US-based commercial aircraft operators that want to retrofit their aircraft must do so with parts that have been certified as airworthy, defined by 14 CFR Part 21 requirements. These are parts that have FAA TSO, PMA or other certifications.  CertifyNation, as an FAA PAH, can produce FAA PMA parts and installation kits that are certified airworthy per these FAA requirements. 


What’s the difference between FAA PAH and AS9100D?

If a company is an FAA PAH, they are not automatically AS9100D certified and vice versa.  Only a company who holds a FAA PAH can produce parts certified as airworthy per 14 CFR Part 21 requirements. Currently neither ISO9001 nor AS9100D is a FAA requirement, but the FAA recognizes the benefits of these systems. The implementation of AS9100D quality system elements and ISO 9001 certification are indicators of the applicant or PAH’s commitment to quality management/assurance principles. CertifyNation is both an FAA PAH and AS9100D certified.


Is an FAA PAH limited to the US only, or does it have advantages in the global aviation community?

Companies outside the US can hold FAA PAH, but they may be subject to additional oversight from their local civil aviation authority. Also, parts produced under FAA PAH are generally accepted worldwide, either directly or indirectly, via bilateral agreements between the FAA and other civil aviation authorities around the world.


Ryan Beech is the Director, Programs for CertifyNation – a Division of The Angelus Corporation.  He has worked in the commercial aircraft retrofit industry for nearly 20 years and has completed STC projects with airlines all over the world. For more information visit www.CertifyNation.com or email [email protected].