Aircraft Maintenance Technology

MAR 2018

The aircraft maintenance professional's source for technological advancements, maintenance alerts, news, articles, events, and careers

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manage known requirements such as seasonal fluctuations –—fleet utilization and air passenger traffic is much higher during holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. The question then becomes how do operators move hundreds of aircraft through MRO hangars during these busy spells? Maintenance planning tools must look to align flights, optimizing fleets for usage and yields, then individual aircraft going in to hangars for as little time as possible. CHANGE AND OPPORTUNITY Alongside this, MRO is currently in a boom period — older fleets are yet to retire, while new aircraft are being delivered at a rapid rate. Oliver Wyman estimates a steady 3.8 percent CAGR MRO market growth, with 58 percent of fleets being new-generation aircraft by 2027. However, legacy aircraft aren't as old as they used to be — the lifespan of a narrow-bodied jet used to be 25 years, now it's closer to 14 years. At MROs and airlines, technicians who are undergoing training to deliver staged maintenance services are the younger generation — millennials for whom using technology in the workplace is a necessity, not an option. Maintenance is no longer about simply 'turning wrenches' -— some of those technicians who have been around longer aren't as interested or as fast at learning new software techniques as the younger generation. Some MROs are responding with new services such as mobile technology and applications — HAECO now has a mobile team that can work anywhere without a hangar. COMMERCIAL AVIATION MIRRORING DEFENSE MARKET Historically, maintenance plans and schedules were certificate-based and ultimately the responsibility of an airline to report their practices to the FAA or IATA. This schedule was then translated into the task cards to use for the tools, licenses, and parts required for maintenance. The 'wrench turning' required in the airline's plan could be outsourced to an MRO, which would take the task cards and execute according to the airline's parameters. Now, OEMs and MROs are transitioning toward new business models to take the whole maintenance aspect away from the airline. In a highly competitive

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