Major responsibility of a Maintenance Director/Head, is to manage fleet maintenance, for keeping them Airworthy. They need to oversee everything from managing business partnerships to making sure all maintenance activities are complied within timeline.They also need to ensure, highest standards in carrying out maintenance activities, to maintain safety & quality.So how can a maintenance Director save on costs in this expensive & fast-paced aviation industry.
Thankfully, innovations are taking place rapidly in aviation industry and now one can leverage best in people & technology to achieve goal of safety & quality, making aviation businesses more profitable.
Below are the 5 ways discussed to effectively manage aircraft maintenance.
1) Preventive Maintenance
Preventive maintenance plays a vital role in reducing AOG for an Aircraft. I would like to typically highlight two points that usually help in preventive maintenance.
a) The use of condition monitoring mechanism
b) Integrated sensors
Most next generation Aircrafts are well equipped with on-board sensors that predict when the aircraft part may fail.
Using condition monitoring Maintenance Director can quickly gain information on factors such as temperature & vibrations, by analysing these parameters technicians can identify changes that could lead to part/component failure. So, condition monitoring contributes in optimising life of a component. Aircraft Engines are extremely expensive to maintain, so use of diagnostic and prognostic technology helps in reducing significant costs.
Carrying out regular tasks such as oil change, lubrication, cleaning & minor adjustments would really help in increasing the health & lifespan of an Aircraft.
2) Keeping records up to date
An aircraft logbook is used to regulate the quality, airworthiness and value of an aircraft, which is why an airline must ensure that all documentation, along with maintenance records, are kept up to date. And if a logbook is not kept up to date, the value of an aircraft could decrease significantly.
There’s no denying that managing a fleet is a rigorous task and to say at least staying always on top of records is a challenge.
A well-documented and well-kept records can fetch you up to 30% higher costs compared to Aircraft whose records are not well maintained.
3) Be compliant, always
Knowing your civil aviation regulations, A/C flight specifications and manuals is essential. Also, having an exhaustive knowledge of safety alerts or notifications such as airworthiness directives (AD) and service bulletins, can lead to safer processes.
4) Planning the maintenance strategically
Strategic maintenance planning is the most important aspect for any aviation operator, as we are aware about the costs involved with Aircraft being grounded for more time. There are 3 major factors which should be considered while planning this downtime
- Availability of Hanger/Parking based on the complexity of work to be carried out
- Availability of Skilled labour.
- Availability of special tools, spares.
We need to make sure we plan maintenance tasks in such a way that, it should coincide with other major or minor tasks.
5) Implementing an advanced IT solution
Finally, a Maintenance Director would greatly benefit from implementing an advanced IT solution into their current operations, so they can obtain a clear summary of all processes, from office to hangar.
A solution such as FlyPal’s Aircraft Maintenance & Inventory Manager gives Airlines, MRO’s & aircraft owners the ability to plan and perform all Maintenance & repair processes.
For example, the FlyPal’s MRO module provide controls to plan work and monitor performance: thanks to its comprehensive features, including analytics tools, key decision support system and configurable reporting. Plus, it can track everything from operation manuals, pilot hours and fuel & oil data, including an insight into production hours, providing key details to maintenance managers.