AAR has announced that Alaska Airlines will be its launch customer for its Airvolution component repair challenge platform.

The cloud-based solution has been designed for efficient management of aircraft component repairs and to meet the demands and challenges of the aviation supply chain

Additional airline users to be announced

AAR’s Chief Digital Officer Rahul Ghai explained: “It is a cloud based software which allows airlines like Alaska to automate their repair and the component repair process, with the benefit being cost savings as well as obviously reliable components, so its the first of our customers. We’re very excited about the launch and you’ll be hearing more from us about additional airlines soon.”

AAR is also gaining a bigger picture of MRO requirements by using drones in aircraft inspections in partnership with UAV provider Donahoe.

Rahul added that Donahoe was chosen as the product was the most mature in terms of both hardware and software. The system not only captures the image and prioritises workflow but can also trigger an actual task card for maintenance execution by technicians.

Inspection times cut in half

Rahul outlined the three key benefits of using drones in MRO: “One is around the efficiencies that a process that takes technicians number of hours today to manually inspect the aircraft on induction is cut at least in half, conservatively. Second is obviously a safety element, where we no longer have technicians having to clamber over an aircraft or  scaffolding needed around the aircraft. And third is that this starts allows us to capture all sorts of data that we haven’t historically been able to before.”

“These drones can capture images or discrepancies down to one millimetre, which is obviously better than the human eye in many cases. So we can start to stitch together information from the drones with other essential information we already have.”

He added that along with additional data sources such as the technical manual, this will give technicians a “rich repository” which will drive up the company’s ability to offer better turnaround performance.