Per Norén, vice president, Digital Solutions for Boeing Digital Aviation, a business unit of Commercial Aviation Services, recently unveiled Boeing’s Maintenance Performance Toolbox product suite. This new software will optimize maintenance operations and reduce airlines’ costs because they no longer will face the challenge of managing cumbersome, paper-based maintenance records. The tool works with other application solutions to increase efficiencies for day-to-day airline maintenance operations from the hangar floor to the back office.
Boeing, ever the marketing company, stated the MPT’s benefits in terms of the airline executives who buy the airplanes, rather than the Regulatory Affairs team, whose job is to keep the carrier out of FAA trouble. MPT would have been good for the old FAA, but it will make the new data-driven safety agency ecstatic.
The FAA’s old enforcement approach was focused on documents; an inspector would arrive at a Maintenance Hangar and salivate if she/he saw a messy stack of records. That indicated that the critical regulatory trail, documents, was not being carefully organized and that appearance usually meant that the underlying information on those papers were likely to show “violations”. They could spend hours and hours searching through the piles, knowing that somewhere in that confusion would be the basis for a Civil Penalty in the six figures plus range. That was Nirvana for the old school inspector.
The new MPT would have minimized the opportunity to spend many hours in the Maintenance Record Room in the back of the hangar.
MPT now connects everyone within the Mx organization to a real time source of how to make that repair, what must be scheduled for the aircraft coming in for an AD compliance, whether plane “No. 123” will be ready for flight tomorrow, to assure that the entry was properly recorded and of accessing other important safety information.
Here is another segment of the Boeing’s description of the MPT.
The Boeing explanation of benefits points to “employee efficiency,” “faster more accurate records,” “reduce costly errors” and “automation of approval routing and notification.” These terms will be appreciated by the regulatory affairs team and their FAA counterparts.
The new SMS/SASO data-driven approach relies on information. Analyses of gigabits of maintenance performance helps generate the targets for air carrier and the FAA. The “faster, more accurate records” translates to a higher quality basis for proactive safety recommendations and preventative actions. “Automation of notification” results in more timely decisions.
MPT will enhance the proactivity of airlines safety measures and that will be great for the Mx organization and the SMS/SASO quality!