May 06, 2013
Credit: Ed Hazelwood/AW&ST
I didn't hear one central theme emerge from our MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition in Atlanta, but when you bring 10,000 people from 60 countries together for three days, is that surprising? In previous years, PMA parts, OEM vs. MRO, or in-house vs. outsource issues arose. Those topics still come up—but more as subcomponents of larger issues such as engine overhaul pricing or incorporating used, serviceable material into workscopes.
In the 59 conference sessions, recurring subjects included industry consolidation; cost controls and efficiencies; aircraft retirement rates and life cycles; next-gen avionics upgrades; and inefficiencies in lease returns, to name but a few.
Comments at the event included:
•The part-out trend will accelerate, so expect a wave of younger aircraft to get torn down until the supply-demand cycle corrects itself—Nicholas Pastushan, chief investment officer, transport finance, CIT.
•MROs can target lessors with fleet support packages, because MRO outsourcing is essential to lessors—David Marcontell, president/COO, TeamSAI.
•OEMs are gaining engine market share in providing spare engines and MRO. Airlines can, and probably will, unite and push back—Charles Willis, chairman/CEO, Willis Lease.
•When choosing an interior modification provider, review quality assurance audits, workforce stability and installation times—Amit Patel, manager, Delta Air Lines.
•It is important to understand the variability of turnaround and cycle times (as opposed to just averages) to optimize spares provisioning—Aureo Zanon, senior manager of inventory ownership, United Airlines.
•Latency requirements for ADS-B-out circa 2020 will likely drive many legacy aircraft to upgrade or replace flight-management systems—Joe White, managing director, engineering and maintenance, A4A.