If you've ever traveled by plane, you've probably had the misfortune of being stuck on the runway past your departure time because of this problem or another. And while it's frustrating to be a passenger stuck waiting for takeoff, it can't be worse than being an airliner with an AOG.
When an aircraft is grounded due to a maintenance issue, it is called an aircraft on ground (AOG) and can accrue many costs for various reasons. Passenger carriers don't lose revenue because passengers are re-booked. However, costs from meals, accommodations, transportation, additional crew costs, mechanics overtime, component shipping costs, and productivity losses all add up and can cost an airline up to $150,000 per hour for any given AOG. In comparison, a cargo carrier can lose revenue if the cargo isn't delivered on time, so they tend to have more support aircraft. Fortunately, there are a few things an airline can do to minimize the effects of an AOG or prevent them. Having regular inspections, following time between overhaul (TBO) and all other original equipment manufacturers (OEM) maintenance and repair schedule recommendations are important in mitigating the risk of having an AOG. Some of the ways that can reduce the costs associated with AOGs are to create a parts stock model and to work with an aftermarket spares supplier to be ready for an AOG and reduce the time it takes to get the part delivered.
The software can help in creating a parts stock model. An airline should start with the reliability of no-go parts because they are category one on the minimum equipment list (MEL). If these parts malfunction, it will cause an AOG. The next step is to create a required level of parts stock. This has been done through a Required Spare Provisioning List (RSPL) model, but they vary in how complete they are.
Some airlines and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) companies prefer to keep all essential parts and components in stock at their facilities. However, it is sometimes more efficient to outsource with a parts distributor. Keeping a list of part numbers that have reoccurring issues and utilizing predictive analytics can help an airline and their parts distributor prepare for AOGs.
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