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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arena, airlines want to concentrate on flying passengers, selling tickets, managing fuel costs, and beating competition from international and low-cost airlines. Commercial aviation is following the defense model of in-service support — contracting out maintenance to OEMs or third-party providers. Outsourcing of line maintenance was one of the top three 2017 MRO trends outlined by Technavio, while Boeing and Airbus have set up their own MRO divisions where they are looking to generate $50 billion in annual revenue. But OEM contracts are taking a while to be introduced as airlines are reluctant to be locked into an expensive in-service support contract. Independent MROs are realizing they occupy a competitive position to provide fleet planning and the 'wrench turning' associated with meeting that new model. NEW APPROACH REQUIRED: PART BY PART, TASK BY TASK Regardless of the chosen model, the end goal is to reduce aircraft maintenance windows — the No. 1 competitive differentiator between maintenance providers. From a planning perspective, what used to be called 'out of phase maintenance' in the days of ABCD is now the industry standard — whole maintenance programs are planned with individual tasks in mind. This requires MRO software which recognizes and packages individual tasks where they fit best according to scheduling parameters — flight hours, flight cycles, etc. Software with a component-based view offers significant advantages by getting part numbers and granular detail into each maintenance program. That information should then be packaged into the required maintenance format — task by task, component by component. This means as maintenance models and standards continue to shift, the software can easily adapt to keep track of all components. ADAPT TO SURVIVE As commercial aviation MRO continues to move forward, those who adapt fast will remain competitive in a consolidating market. But these opportunities cannot be realized without component-centric support, providing the granularity required to react and take advantage of new maintenance models.

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