Aircraft Maintenance by definition is “Overhaul, repair, inspection or modification of an aircraft or aircraft component”. It doesn’t include activities like Servicing, works done before issue of Airworthiness Certificate or Elementary works, but includes compliance of Airworthiness Directives (AD) or Service Bulletins (SB).
Regulatory authority releases AD when finds an unsafe condition in aircraft/parts. It notifies owners/operators about the potential unsafe condition and remedies (special inspections, repairs, or alterations) to overcome it. SBs are notices to aircraft operators from a manufacturer notifying them of a product improvement. However Alert SBs, which covers about safety related items, will result in Regulatory Authority issuing AD.
On-time compliance of AD/SB is very important. AD Compliance is mandatory. Thus if an operator does not comply with an AD, then the datum aircraft is not considered airworthy.
Hundreds of airplanes in the US were grounded during March and April 2008, due to two cases of potential non-compliance of ADs. Thousands of passengers were inconvenienced and the operators resulted in million dollar loss. This incident gave birth to Independent Review Team (IRT) to examine the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) safety culture and its implementation of safety management. FAA also established AD Compliance Review Team (CRT). These teams played a key role in making AD/SB process easier for industry processing.
Though implementation of SB/AD made easier, it’s the responsibility of Owners/Operators to make sure that all ADs are tracked and complied on time. Running through a big list of ADs from regulatory website, filtering applicable ADs and tracking till its compliance... I’m telling you, it’s not an easy job.
Problem of tracking an AD/SB till compliance can be overcome with MRO IT Solutions, that are built ground up to meet the related requirements and the Solution should be robust enough. Few of the mentioned below capabilities are a must for tracking an AD/ SB in system.
- Ability to interact with Manufactures/Regulatory authority websites to extract applicable SB/ADs automatically is preferred as manual efforts to run through the SB/AD list in websites is time consuming.
- Robust capability to capture remedies for unsafe conditions in AD, product improvements in SB and references for alert SB is essential. Remedies can be special inspections, repairs, or a configuration change. These can be schedule tracked or non-schedule tracked.
- Capability to quickly induct SB/ADs that comes for wide range of fleet/Parts is a must. SB/AD can come for a wide range of fleet. Let's say, an AD "Pneumatic - Overheat Detection System - Inspection" applicable for entire fleet of A380. Induction of AD/SBs to system irrespective of fleet size should not be a time consuming issue.
- Capability to induct AD/SBs that are applicable for Parts attached to particular models is key. For example AD - 2014-0172,"Ice and Rain Protection – Full Icing Protection System / Cable Inspection" is applicable for model A380.
- Capability to evaluate and decide on execution of SB/Ads is a must. Compliance of all inducted SB/AD may not be required. Execution can be on hold due to pending feed-back from regulatory authority/manufacture or would have previously complied. Also SB/ADs may not be applicable for few serials in a fleet or part. These decisions are important and very critical to track.
- Ability to define AD/SBs that are future date is mandatory. On the effective date of AD/SB, the tasks should appear for planning.
- Capability to handle warranty claimable, Configuration changeable and superseding SB/Ads is compulsory.
- Ability to generating AD/SB compliance status report is very much required for audit purposes.
Ramco Aviation Solution take cares of all the above mentioned aspects, in fact more than that. Ramco has a well-structured interface for recording the Evaluation process. Induction of AD/SBs for fleet of any size can be achieved in few minutes using Ramco Aviation Solution. Ramco has robust and easy structured solution for definition of configuration change AD/SBs, future dated AD/SBs, superseding ADs, warranty claims and compliance report. Ramco also has the capability of extracting SB/ADs from Manufacturers/Regulatory authority websites.
Ramco Aviation Solution also offers an intuitive workspace where status of entire AD/SBs enrolled in the system can be viewed. Based on status, system guides are used to take appropriate next actions. Details of AD/SBs like, tasks, schedules, compliance status and compliance information can be viewed under one roof. Compliance report for AD/SB can be generated from this workspace. Workspace also helps in evaluation of the efficiency of induction process of SB/ADs.