American Airlines' parent company AMR is to invest in a joint venture with Heico to accelerate development of replacement airframe and engine parts.

AMR's investment will enable Florida-based Heico's Flight Support group to gain US Federal Aviation Administration parts manufacturing approval (PMA) for additional components to be marketed to airlines and repair centres as alternatives to the original manufacturers' equipment.

Lufthansa Technik, maintenance arm of the German carrier, already owns 20% of Heico Flight Support, which saw sales of FAA-approved replacement parts increase 5% in the first quarter.

Manufacturers General Electric and Pratt & Whitney have criticised the FAA for providing PMA certification of core engine components, including Heico's.

Source: Flight International