Today we would like to highlight an important part of the whitepaper: Data Transition Across the Aircraft Life-Cycle and M&E System Implementations
Let’s first think about the importance of data. As you know, there are a lot of possibilities on the data analytical side: prognostics, monitoring certain things that have operational benefits. However, that is only possible if there is data available and accessible. We talk about prognostic capabilities, predictive capabilities, data analytics but the reality is that data within the aviation industry is still to a great extent paper-based; aircraft records that might be digitalized to a certain extent in MRO systems but are essentially paper-based. All those records hold data that might be of use at some point. So, whenever we are talking about data, one thing that we need to understand is that first we’re talking about airworthiness compliance. Data indicates for an airline whether or not particular aircraft are airworthy. That is always the first and most important key consideration when talking about data… airworthiness compliance. Next to that, data is an asset value as well which can be illustrated by two examples.
Wrong inventory; wrong share price
Not that long ago, EXSYN was involved in a data migration project using its data processing tool TITAN and one of the pieces of information being migrated from one MRO system to another was the inventory of the airline in question. The value of that inventory stood at $1 million. We started to migrate the information to the new MRO software system: however, after all that information had been validated, verified and cross-checked, it turned out that the airline’s inventory was half of the value that they had been reporting up until then. That reporting had been based on data managed in their MRO system. The purchasing manager was pleased, thinking that the reduced inventory value would earn him his annual bonus. However, the CFO was less than pleased because the inventory is reported on the company balance sheet; so, by migrating from one MRO system to another, the airline faced a reduced asset value and consequent reduction the share value – difficult to explain to the board.
Data confirms asset value
Another example that illustrates the fact that data is airworthiness compliance and asset value, is a lease hand-back. When returning an aircraft to the lease company one of the first things the lease company will do is a records verification to check the records that accompany the aircraft including checking data in order to make sure that it is correct. They do that to confirm whether the aircraft is in compliance with airworthiness regulations, which in turn has a direct effect on the value of that asset – no-one would buy an aircraft whose airworthiness is in doubt. So there is a direct relationship between data and asset value and between data and airworthiness compliance.
And, of course, data also helps to identify ways of optimizing maintenance cost, helps to improve reliability, to increase efficiency by means of analytics and it allows users to make predictions about component failures, etc. But foremost data is airworthiness compliance and asset value.