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Aviation News The major trends pick up speed at MRO Americas

The major trends pick up speed at MRO Americas

Romain Guillot in Orlando, Florida
11 MAY 2017 | 443 words
The major trends pick up speed at MRO Americas
© Le Journal de l'Aviation - all rights reserved
The 22nd edition of MRO Americas, the largest exhibition in the world dedicated to aviation maintenance, was held two weeks ago. The sector continues its inexorable growth, with turnover which should reach 72.1 billion dollars in 2017 (+3.4%), a new record, according to the latest forecasts from the Oliver Wyman agency which were presented during the event in Orlando (Florida).

This strong trend clearly goes hand in hand with the expansion in the worldwide commercial aircraft fleet (+828 aircraft in one year), with a significant share generated by engine maintenance, but also be the recommissioning of some 830 old generation planes over the period, a figure which is double what we have usually seen over the last few years.

Other trends which were in evidence at MRO Americas were the declared roll-out in new technologies (big data, connected fleet, RFID, additive manufacturing, digital tablets, use of drones to transport spare parts between stores and planes, etc.) and technologies which are evolving so quickly that it is hard for them to be adopted by MRO actors, not to mention the issue of the aircraft maintenance technicians' age pyramid, which will generate real difficulties at the start of the next decade, especially in North America.

The use of aircraft data for predictive maintenance was more than ever present with the main "Airline MRO", such as the "MRO Lab" at AFI KLM E&M or with the new "Aviatar" platform unveiled by the President of Lufthansa Technik, Johannes Bussmann, in person. Even cargo operators such as FedEx and UPS, which use planes which are generally older than the planes used by passenger transport airlines, demonstrated at the event that they have a huge need for techniques to analyse their data to enable them to have predictive maintenance tools and reduce the operating costs for their enormous fleets.

The appetite of major OEM companies in the after-sales sector was emphasised again, with the vast number of announcements over the last six months, such as the Boeing's objective to triple its activities which it announced in November, the creation of a dedicated division at Embraer in December with a projected increase in activity of 15 to 25% over the next 1à years, a 50% increase is services at Bombardier by 2020 or the recent launch of the AIS activity at "Services by Airbus" in April.

Finally, MRO Americas provided the opportunity to present a brand new activity in the maintenance sector, even if it's still in its initial stages: Space MRO, driven by operators such as Virgin Galactic in particular. This is a sector which is sure to develop significantly on its own scale over the next few years.
Romain Guillot
Chief editor
Cofounder of Journal de l'Aviation and Alertavia


 
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