Introducing New MRO Systems

RustomSutara150by Rustom Sutara, Director of Content & Knowledge Services, Avia Intelligence

From the perspective of continuing airworthiness and aircraft maintenance, fully integrated MRO Management systems have completely revolutionized the means by which we maintain oversight of our aircraft. Migration of airworthiness data including technical records in terms of hours and cycles, a complete and accurate AD Status, not least an un-abridged repository of aircraft technical logs, aircraft task cards, etc., is a long and drawn-out. Any process of data migration presents a minefield of complex issues which have to be navigated both when an aircraft is exiting the fleet, and more so when an aircraft is being delivered and introduced to an existing fleet.

Ensuring data integrity when transitioning from one MRO system to another, is of paramount importance, and, without proficiency in using a new MRO system, maintenance oversight would become difficult at best, and non-compliant at worst.

To all intents and purposes, data migration in this regard should be as easy as converting a standard word-processor document from the 2010 release to 2013. However, the reality is far more complex, and involves an even more mind-blowing level of complexity when considering the ‘black art’ of database architecture. A recent migration experience, involving the transfer of aircraft technical records data from one operator to another was thought to be relatively simple, particularly when both operators utilized the same MRO software. Although the first migration attempt was generally successful, elements of the migration indicated that the data was incomplete in places. Ultimately the problem was resolved when it had been realized that the migration had been attempted between two differing releases of database.

Imagine if this had been a data migration between completely differing MRO software applications? Admittedly, data from the old system could be imported to the newer system through a wide range of complex but highly important data clean-up measures, and not least mapping techniques. This is an expensive process, regardless of whether you are the software supplier who has to do the clean-up work, or the operator who has to expend considerable time and manpower ensuring the work is done in compliance with regulatory requirement.

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