Yesterday afternoon, O&M presented the MRO of the Year Awards to four companies that accomplished significant achievements in 2011.
The 2012 winners of O&M’s MRO of the Year award exemplify excellence in creating collaborative repair environments, keeping large projects on time and even engineering innovative repairs to fix parts that were once thought to be unusable. Our 2012 honorees—US Airways, Sikorsky Aerospace Services, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co. and Leading Edge Aviation Services—provide examples of how creativity and a passion for solving problems can go a long way.
The US Airways’ technical operation demonstrated several significant achievements. One of its biggest was deferring fewer maintenance items under the minimum equipment list and non-essential furnishings program than it ever had before--including setting several new records for lowest day and lowest month totals. The airline reduced the average amount of time that deferred maintenance items stayed open by 19% in 2011. It also beat its goal for aircraft out of service at the start of the day by 14%. 2011 was the fourth consecutive year of improvement, which contributed to a 32% reduction of maintenance cancellations since 2008. Also in 2011, US Airways not only finished implementing SMS, but the FAA rated the program at the highest level. In May, US Airways became the first airline to have its SMS program validated by the IATA Operational Safety Audit, which acknowledges the system’s credibility on an international level. In addition to fleet upgrades that occurred throughout the year, US Airways implemented a new manual delivery system that improved information availability and reduced the backlog of open change requests for job cards and manuals by 70%. New requests are reviewed and completed in the shortest times since the merger between US Airways and America West.
Sikorsky Aerospace Services
Sikorsky Aerospace Services receives recognition for its technical engineering and logistics partnership with the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD), which holistically supports the U.S. Army’s H-60 Black Hawk helicopter repair and overhaul program. Through this partnership, Sikorsky and the depot worked together to implement best practices at the overhaul facility, using time-phased, tailored material kits that decreased the total inventory of parts in the overhaul pipeline without risk of shortages. Sikorsky’s engineers also found creative ways to reduce materials costs by developing repair procedures and techniques to reclaim parts that were thought to be un-repairable. The results were impressive—in 2011, Sikorsky and CCAD completed a record 48 refurbished H-60 helicopters within the year. The results of the partnership had greater benefits than saving money for the parties involved: By repairing those aircraft instead of scrapping them, saved the U.S. government approximately $600 million annually.
Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co.
At its facility near Hong Kong International Airport, Haeco developed a total cabin care service to aid Cathay Pacific Airways in establishing a cabin maintenance center. The purpose of the new center was to ensure that no aircraft left the maintenance base with defects that affect the passenger experience. As a result of implementing the cabin maintenance center, Haeco has assisted the airline in reducing its zero acceptable deferred defects by 14% between Nov. 2010 and 2011. The cabin maintenance center’s team of 50 cabin specialists was made up of Haeco staff as well as representatives from Cathay Pacific and vendors for seats and inflight entertainment systems. By using this collaborative model, Haeco created a synergy between all of the parties involved in the cabin management of the airline’s fleet and therefore shortened service and administrative lead times.
Leading Edge Aviation Services
Leading Edge Aviation Services was tasked with a difficult proposition in 2011: Re-painting 671 of United Continental’s aircraft as part of its livery transition program initiated after the two airlines merged, within the tight timeframe of 24-36 months. Over the course of the program, Leading Edge projects that it will save the airline more than $5 million by offering a one supplier solution for refinishing services. To do this, Leading Edge worked with Continental to create innovative processes for materials and hangar solutions and utilized its multiple hangar facilities that can handle up to 20 lines of paint companywide. Leading Edge used its previous experience of completing a livery transition program for Delta and Northwest airlines.
Following the MRO of the Year awards ceremony, A4A's Engineering, Maintenance and Material Council (EMMC) presented its 45th annual Nuts and Bolts Awards.
Airline Category Winner: Mark Yerger, FedEx Express VP of Aircraft Engineering
Industry Category Winner: Carol Giles, former manager of the Aircraft Maintenance Division of the FAA Flight Standards Service.
Congrats to all of the winners on your awards!