Short turnaround times are the goal for any airline. They reduce delays and keep customers happy. Yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Services, 69.7% of all flight delays and cancellations are due to air carrier delays or late-arriving aircrafts, something which is very much within the control of an airline.
Reducing this figure means optimizing turnaround times, and a key part of this involves the technical logbooks, which should quickly and easily inform pilots about recent changes or faults on an aircraft. But it’s no secret that attempts in the industry to digitize this paper-heavy process have fallen short of the mark.
For an eLogbook system to really work, there are a few key factors that need to be considered so the process is simplified, rather than over-complicated. If these factors are taken into account, airlines will experience many benefits that all in turn amount to higher profits and happier passengers.
Why go paperless?
The logbook is a simple way of sharing information between the maintenance organization and pilot.
Both parties can sign-off work and look at the history of what has recently been resolved and fixed on the aircraft. This in itself is great—but the system could be better. The issue with a paper-based logbook is that all the information sits outside an airline’s core maintenance system. Pilots and maintenance teams have to wait until they are physically at the aircraft to see the most recent updates to an aircraft, including the faults from the inbound flight. This naturally causes delays.
An electronic technical logbook on the other hand looks to integrate the core maintenance system and the logbook, with the result that it minimizes the time it takes to report and repair issues from the inbound flight. In terms of improving and optimizing aircraft turnaround times, it’s essential.
Just an e-copy not enough
Initial digitization efforts successfully removed paper from the process, but the success was limited to that. The first solutions integrated an electronic logbook into the aircraft itself. This system needed flight proven hardware and software, which was complex and expensive—not a viable solution.
iPads and tablets presented the possibility to put maintenance data on a portable mobile device. This meant access to the aircraft status anytime, anywhere. But the solution, unfortunately, isn’t that simple. By just electronically copying paper-systems, the information still existed outside the core maintenance system, creating a silo of key aircraft data. Even more frustrating, early digital systems overloaded the pilot with information they didn’t need in a format they were not used to dealing with.
Introducing IFS Maintenix eLogbook
The electronic logbook needs to be an extension of the core maintenance system. It should have a simple, flight deck compatible interface and deliver the right core information between pilot and maintenance organization, at the right time. With IFS Maintenix eLogbook, IFS is now providing its airline customers exactly that, namely:
- Reduced turnaround times
With a true electronic technical logbook, pilots can see anything that was raised during the inbound flight, even if it hasn’t already been dispositioned. This means that pilots can start thinking about how a certain fault might impact their flight before arriving at the aircraft.
Inbound flight faults are also reported to the maintenance teams either in real-time, on WiFi enabled aircrafts, or when the plane lands. The teams then waste no time getting to work on the aircraft repairs the moment the aircraft lands. The result? A more streamlined operation and minimized turnaround times.
- Connecting the workforce
The aim for all airlines is a fully connected operation, from the check-in desk all the way to the engineers and maintenance teams—and an electronic logbook is key towards achieving this. Handy push notifications in the eLogbook app, for example, remove time wasted going to the flight deck to sign off the logbook.
We can see the electronic logbook begin to connect all the teams involved in getting the aircraft off the ground on that day, from the flight deck to the maintenance hangar, and everywhere in between—a step in the right direction.
- Safety and compliance
A paper logbook means waiting for passengers to disembark before accessing the paper log. Only then can faults be flagged from the information in the log. This obviously delays turnaround time or, even worse, can result in faults being flagged after an aircraft has left for its next destination.
With an electronic logbook inputting data into the core system in real-time, compliance discrepancies can be caught immediately so no aircraft leaves in a non-compliant state.
It’s clear that an eLogbook holds the key for airlines looking to turn the tables on slow turnarounds and passenger delays.
Download this white paper to find out how IFS Maintenix eLogbook can minimize turnaround times, so aircrafts spend less time on the ground and more time in the air.
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