Aviation Maintenance

A specialized maintenance program is designed as part of the production process of every new version of an airplane with the purpose of providing and assuring its protection in the air. This is basically a raw form of the maintenance program which is then customized by every airline to be compatible with the structure of their respective operation’s departments. This is how airworthiness of operations under any scenario is affirmed and maintained. The success and the progress of the aviation industry are achieved with the collective efforts of the aircraft’s manufacturers, airlines and the regulators with the common goal of refining the design and maintenance regime of the aircraft. 

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Definitely, such an advanced procedure for maintenance should be supported by highly skilled and effective management in all phases from development to transportation. Aviation Industry is run by a number of people from different departments who interact closely with the determination and dedication of making flying a very protective business which is economical for passengers, profitable for airliners, and enjoyable for everyone. These people are Airplane Manufacturers, Onboard Equipment and System Designers, Airline Operators, Aviation Trade Associates, Aviation Regulatory Authorities, Air and On Ground Crews, who work together to confirm flight’s safety. The process starts from designing the aircraft and its systems to the development, modifications and implementation of the maintenance program which are the nonstop processes which last throughout the life span of the particular aircraft.

Aviation Industry continues to provide better systems and services to the people due to the team work of the above mentioned group of people working hard at every level covering every angle. Continuous Quality improvement concept was introduced by aviation industry. (Kinnison, 2004).

Need of Maintenance

Maintenance is required to prevent failure from happening. It has to be kept in mind that every system and component fails at a different rate from the other showing different patterns towards their failure. Obviously, these failure rates and patterns of each system and its components determine the type of maintenance to be applied on them.

Management Techniques

There are three management techniques that the aviation industry has designed in order to deal with the in-service problems and obstructions that are caused because of the failure in operation of the related components before the maintenance is actually done. The management techniques are:

  1. Equipment Redundancy
  2. Line Replacement Units:
  3. Minimum Aircraft Dispatch Requirements (Kinnison, 2004).

The commercial aviation industry has designed its maintenance programs on the basis of the following two primary approaches.

  1. Process Oriented Approach: This approach was adopted in older aircrafts. This maintenance approach involves three processes which are described below:
  • Hard Time: Systems and components having fixed life limits use hard time maintenance process.
  • On Condition: System and Components having predictable wear out time use On Condition process for maintenance.
  • Condition Monitoring: When systems and components cannot use the hard time and the on-condition processes then they use condition monitoring process to maintain the aircraft and the aviation services. In condition monitoring maintenance process, the systems and components are utilized till the failure occurs and thus, the failure rates are determined to prevent it.     
  1. Task Oriented Approach: The most recent aircrafts follow this approach. Predetermined maintenance work is ensured in task oriented approach for maintenance in order to prevent the in-service failures. Equipment Redundancy Management Technique is often applied in task oriented approach to maintenance so that the failure may occur without threatening the safety and operations of the airline. This is done by providing the backup unit to work in case of the primary unit fails to function.

The Maintenance Manager comes across several problems and issues concerning production, administration, human staff, management procedures and not to mention the advancement in technology. To solve these issues, the manager should completely understand and thus, implement the relevant operating principles.  

The following are the various types of aviation maintenance. The aviation maintenance may be classified in to more types and sub-types with the development in both the aviation industry and the maintenance field.

  • Accidental Maintenance: This type of maintenance is done accidentally. It is unscheduled maintenance.
  • Adaptive Maintenance: This type of maintenance is performed in order to add some functionality to a component or to enhance the capability of a component.
  • Coercive Maintenance: This type of maintenance is performed irrespective of the requirement for the maintenance activity to be done.
  • Conditional Maintenance: This type of maintenance activity is initiated by the physical condition of a component.
  • Corrective Maintenance: This maintenance type is done after a component has failed to function properly.
  • Preventive Maintenance: This type of maintenance activity is done on a regular basis to ensure the proper working and safety of the aircraft so that the future failures can be prevented with the help of predicting the failure rates.
  • Improvement Maintenance: This type of maintenance activity is concerned with the engineering modifications or redesign. This is done in order to prevent corrective and preventive maintenances.
  • Elective Maintenance: This type of maintenance procedure is adapted to bring out a change in the aircraft such as repainting, disassembly for improvement maintenance, etc.
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