Maintenance and Engineering: Keeping Airplanes in the Sky 2001-01-3037
The role of maintenance and engineering professionals is to assure that every airplane dispatched into commercial airline service conforms to the highest standards of safety and reliability that available technology and the regulatory environment will permit. The accomplishment of this mission requires that a complex support system be established that can continually assess the health of the airplane and engine over a demanding lifetime that involves six complete overhauls and 400,000 man-hours of checks and maintenance activity. The successful implementation of the thousands of details that must never be compromised during this period demands that the “care givers” be provided the best possible products, processes, and personnel support systems available. This paper describes steps being taken at United Airlines to address those requirements, through the assimilation of new technology, improved training and communication, and continuous process improvement, all of which are necessary precursors that airlines must accept in order to be safe and viable business enterprises in a rapidly expanding U.S. air transportation system.