Comparing Alternative Strategies of Aircraft Maintenance

Anthony Muchiri


The global economic downturn has significantly affected many industries, and the airline industry has not been left out. This has resulted in airlines looking for ways to reduce their cost of operation in order to make profits. The industry requires significant capital investment, but the returns do not match up in most cases. Optimization of maintenance provides an airline with a good opportunity to reduce on costs, and especially direct maintenance costs, since these normally account for 11% of the total operating cost. Most airlines utilize the preventive maintenance strategy, with different airlines having different approaches to the same. Very few airlines venture into the condition monitoring strategy. Most research work on maintenance optimization also centers around preventive maintenance. Further, very few attempts have been made to combine multiple maintenance strategies. This paper makes an attempt to combine two strategies, Preventive maintenance and condition monitoring. A simulation model has been developed to predict the maintenance requirement of aircraft in an airline operating under known conditions. This demand has then been subjected to both maintenance strategies, and the cost of applying each strategy has been determined. It can be concluded that by selectively applying and optimizing a combination of maintenance strategies, significant reductions in the cost of direct maintenance can be achieved.


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