Boeing Commercial Aviation Services (CAS) is studying a major expansion of its "Enterprise One" software system to provide aircraft health management, "pre-emptive" maintenance and ultimately serve as the basis for a digital maintenance plan for start-up airlines and low-cost carriers.

"There is clearly an interest, and we are in pretty intense talks with a number of customers," says Rich Higgins, vice-president of maintenance engineering and publications for CAS. "Cost pressures are forcing us to make decisions, as an industry, about who is doing what. We can bring some value to this situation if airlines are willing to accept a more standard approach," says Higgins.

Airlines "can't forgo having a maintenance officer, but they may not have to look at an infrastructure to build maintenance plans". Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies will "get more of the maintenance work, and if they are consolidating, they can look at linking it together digitally", he adds.

Boeing's CAS software would provide the links between the airlines and the MROs, says Higgins who adds: "Within the next couple of years it will either go or not go, and I believe it's going to go."

Hawaiian-based Aloha Airlines is meanwhile set to install the Enterprise One software this month, becoming the second carrier after Royal Brunei to adopt the package, which consists of four modules for engineering, logistics, maintenance and warranties.

The engineering module tracks airworthiness directives, service bulletins and fleet directives, while the logistics module supports the airline's procurement and inventory management. The maintenance module helps planners to co-ordinate schedules, resources and parts needs efficiently, while the warranty module aids management and tracking of claims on components.

Elements under study for Enterprise One include a pre-emptive maintenance system that automatically downloads aircraft data to predict failures. To tie into the network and transmit maintenance data, CAS envisages linking the system to the Connexion by Boeing system.

Dutch carrier Transavia Airlines has selected Quinetiq software for maintenance planning of its 27-strong fleet to boost utilisation rates.

Source: Flight International