Like the pilot shortage, overcoming the aircraft mechanic shortage is an imperative for airlines and freight operators. Investing in training, recruitment and compensation can solve for availability but solving the experience and expertise shortage will take longer – years in fact. An often-overlooked piece of the solution yields both immediate and enduring results: reducing the need for maintenance in the first place.
An experienced partner with a multipronged approach – led by maintenance program optimizations – can help fleet operators and MRO providers close the technician gap by lowering maintenance demand.
Booming demand for air travel. An aging workforce already downsized. Migration to larger carriers from regional airlines, low-cost carriers, freight operators and MROs. These and other factors add up to the shortage of aviation mechanics, particularly acute among regional and low-cost carriers, a deficit illustrated by the 39% difference between work demand and technician availability at regional carriers. The problem won’t go away as fleets age, are replaced, and increase to match growing passenger and cargo demand.
Adding qualified aircraft mechanics is easier said than done. Reducing maintenance demand, though, will reduce the man-hours required to perform maintenance, avoiding or at least mitigating the challenge of adding people. Reducing demand yields the very significant dual benefits of reduced maintenance labor costs and increased aircraft availability.
SeaTec has a playbook that has enabled aircraft operators to achieve these outcomes by executing one or more independent but related initiatives.
Maintenance program optimization consolidates and repackages maintenance tasks to reduce total maintenance time. We have helped optimize a wide variety of programs and aircraft fleet types for mainline carriers, regional operators, and the military, and guided clients through the FAA approval process.
Mobile maintenance task cards and manuals raise the efficiency of mechanics, flatten their learning curves and increase compliance. Customizing task cards amplifies these outcomes. With Trekea Fieldlogs, we create task cards that are easy to maintain and manage. The cards link to manuals and training materials, offer electronic sign-off, enable real-time collaboration and task management, and streamline work management processes.
Effective reliability programs reduce unplanned maintenance. We have improved data fidelity, analysis insights, reliability processes and chronic-issue identification for mainline carriers, regional operators and the military.
Our playbook includes other high impact low-cost initiatives, such as SOP upgrades that improve identification and resolution of repeat defects, accelerate aircraft mechanic onboarding and productivity, codify institutional knowledge and improve the results of reliability and other efforts.
Operators lacking the resources to lead and staff these initiatives choose SeaTec. Our teams ensure results are delivered and knowledge is shared, enabling clients to continue to independently reduce costs, improve programs and narrow the gap between maintenance needs and technician availability.