PROJECT ID AND TITLE: HF009 – AJW-3 Fleet Assessment/Modernization Study
Project completed May 2019
- PI: Dr. Massoud Bazargan, Associate Dean for Research, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Co-PI: Dr. Kenneth P. Byrnes, Professor of Aeronautical Science & Chairman of the Flight Training Department, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Co-PI: Dr. Vitaly Guzhva, Professor of Finance, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Co-PI: Dr. John Longshore, Associate Professor of Management, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Students: Marissa Pecora, Nidhi Trambadia, Ziyi Huang
- FAA Sponsor: Floyd Badsky, Flight Program Operations (AJW-3)
- FAA Technical Monitor: Randa Hayes
The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) team seeks to initiate a study for the FAA’s Flight Program Operations (AJW-3), offering recommendations on fleet modernization including fleet consolidation and acquisition strategy based on different aircraft performance and market evaluations. Fleet planning involves the timely acquisition and management of a portfolio of aircraft types in order to meet demand requirements and organizational goals. The team will initially review the four priority missions of the program – Aviation Safety Training, Flight Inspection, Research & Development (R&D) Support and Transportation, to evaluate the strategic scope of the work. The study will include a comprehensive analysis of the current fleet composition and locations in relation to the mission needs and requirements of Flight Program Operations customers.
Expected Project Outcomes:
- Review the current program mission, facilities, aircraft fleet and needs.
- Review the recent literature on fleet planning and replacement strategies.
- Develop aircraft replacement strategies and establish models based on missions and requirements of the Flight Program Operations
- Identify number and type of fleet of aircraft, determine strategies on buy, lease and time frame for which these aircraft are leased or sold based on the intended FAA’s planning period.
- Recommend maintenance strategies and manpower planning for the proposed fleet.
Value of Research:
The aviation regulatory agencies, leading aircraft manufacturers and many studies predict that demand for air transport will rise annually. A comprehensive plan for aircraft acquisition/aircraft
replacement is a major determinant for successful organizations’ strategies. These decisions involve when and how many aircraft of different fleet to purchase, lease and dispose of within a planning horizon to support the organization’s goals and missions. A brief review of fleet ages for many US commercial airlines, non-commercial and regulatory agencies shows that many of them continue to utilize their aging aircraft. In recent years, because of advances in technologies in aircraft manufacturing, many airlines and business enterprises have embarked on a critical review and evaluation of their existing and future fleet to meet their strategic goals.
The team at ERAU have developed unique quantitative and simulation models to help the airlines with their strategic fleet planning. Some of the key questions addressed in these models
- Which fleet are most relevant to the airline?
- When to buy/lease aircraft/fleet?
- How many aircraft to buy/lease?
- What combination of buy or lease works best for the airline?
- How old is too old for aircraft to be disposed of?