Clock Watching | Low Cost & Regional Airline Business

22nd May 2023

Losing precious minutes on the ground when running on a tight schedule can disrupt an entire day of flying. Low Cost & Regional Airline Business report on the best diagnostic MRO tools to keep airline fleets earning their keep.

This article was originally published in the April/May 2023 edition of Low Cost & Regional Magazine


By Aimée Turner


One of the key challenges faced by airlines is the need to keep aircraft in peak condition while minimising downtime and maintenance costs and improving flight efficiency. To achieve this, the MRO industry has been actively exploring decision-making solutions to support intelligent maintenance.


David Purfurst, Rusada’s global pre-sales director, champions the business’s ENVISION software solution which manages airworthiness, maintenance, and flight operations. “Our airworthiness modules allow users to keep aircraft fully compliant and ready to fly through the management of the aircraft configuration, its serviceability, and associated tech records,” he says.


“Operators can then use this data to forecast and schedule maintenance events based on the aircraft’s flying hours or predetermined timeframes. When an aircraft undergoes corrective action, our maintenance modules can then be used to plan and execute this at a more granular level and bring the aircraft back to a serviceable status.”


Utilising Historical Data


Purfurst says ENVISION’s forecasting functionality allows operators to apply a daily average utilisation against each individual aircraft or use historical data with set parameters to determine maintenance schedules. This allows operators to plan maintenance activities well in advance, so they can avoid periods of high aircraft utilisation and to coordinate fleet maintenance.


ENVISION can also integrate with ground station and onboard systems to receive fault codes which can be incorporated into the aircraft’s data set, so planners have even more information.


Potential Efficiency Gains


But is the performance of such tools reaching the limit in terms of improving efficiency and how can these products evolve to meet an airline’s MRO changing requirements?


Rusada’s Purfurst says the leaps seen in early MRO solution development will not be so significant going forwards, although greater efficiencies will be possible. “What does slow those efficiencies is the adoption of new features, such as paperless processes and electronic sign-off, that usually require the operator or maintainer to adapt their ways of working,” he warns. “Resistance to change is something we see frequently, and is understandable, but these changes are the only way to significantly improve efficiency.”


Despite that hesitancy, Rusada is seeing a swift adoption of cloud-hosted solutions, an option available to all ENVISION users, as well as more integration between different software systems in users’ IT infrastructure. “This is giving the organisations much more visibility over their operations as they link from one function to another,” he says.