Changes in Aircraft Maintenance Jobs

Goals

To determine how aircraft maintenance are jobs changing and further, what are the impacts of new technology and technical innovation on these jobs?

Early Findings

  • For aircraft maintenance, today’s industry characterization of changing the change needed to transform the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider to digital seems inadequate and somewhat inept. The focus seems largely weighted towards the development of “owned data” and is not collaborative among the various MRO operations (i.e. airline, independent and OEM MRO providers).
  • Today, aircraft technician and mechanics are assigned jobs using old technology and solutions. They have little visibility into their own work and often don’t relate well to why they are doing what they are doing. They have few operational touchpoints to influence the people, purpose and process to realize safe and compliant on-time performance.
  • The MRO industry is experiencing an alarming shortage of technicians and mechanics, forcing overtime and fatigue, minimal oversight and poor software tools. To adjust for this shortage and achieve desired outcomes, operational stakeholders appear to be prioritizing the management of focus areas based on factors they can actually measure.
  • Becoming a digitally smart and safe MRO operation necessitates an investment in reactive, preventive, condition-based and predictive tools that promise actionable insights for the operation stakeholders.
  • The aviation maintenance technicians of tomorrow must be tech-savvy diagnosticians, which demands specific training. In addition, these aviation mechanics will need to be able to repair airplanes, of course, but will also need to collect necessary data to compose reports which will be used to predict future maintenance needs and must be able to utilize the latest in electrical and avionics systems. With these many changes taking place, 64% of aviation executives say they plan to hire aviation mechanics over the course of the next three years to get ahead of this anticipated drop off in the workforce.
  • With the ability to answer questions in a “what if” kind of scenario, prescriptive maintenance is predicted to revolutionize the MRO. This type of aviation maintenance will be carried out by analytics software and is expected to be available by the year 2020.
  • This monitoring system is a powerful data processing system that will make maintenance processes “smarter” and more reliable. This technology is affordable and convenient for all aircraft and airline operators to have on hand for use by their maintenance mechanics.
  • One area of the world that is booming in both private and commercial aviation is China. Rather than endure the city’s traffic, for example, some people in Shanghai prefer to travel by private helicopter. This rapid growth, however, is predicted to be hindered by the lack of MROs in the country and nearby regions. The reason for this is the lack of skilled aviation mechanics and the difficulty of recruiting foreigners who possess the right aviation license, the right experience, and who are willing to overlook the pollution in China and Hong Kong.

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