Fleet Assessment Phase II

//Fleet Assessment Phase II
Fleet Assessment Phase II2019-10-10T10:03:28-05:00

PROJECT ID AND TITLE:  HF009A – Fleet Assessment Phase II

Collaborators:

Abstract:

This project is Phase II of HF009 – AJW-3 Fleet Assessment/Modernization Study.

The aviation landscape has changed dramatically over the last decades, and several factors in particular are increasing the complexity of the aerospace industry and introducing different types of safety risk into the aerospace system. These factors include new aerospace designs and technologies e.g. unmanned aircraft systems, changes in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) surveillance model (e.g. designee management program), and different business models for the design and manufacturing of aircraft and products (e.g. supply chain).

In addition, fiscal constraints have compelled the FAA to use its resources more effectively. That said, on October 2, 2016, the FAA, Air Traffic Organization (ATO) established a new service unit to consolidate six of its legacy flight programs into a single operations organization. The consolidated organization would be known as the ATO Flight Program Operations, and would be responsible for all aspects of flight program safety, administration, operations, training and maintenance.

To facilitate this transition into the new organizational model, the FAA commissioned a study (Phase I) to be conducted and recommendations to be made on fleet composition and provide a fleet modernization strategy across all missions. The team at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) started their research on the Phase I of FAA’s Fleet Modernization Project in Oct 2017. The project entailed identifying best fleet mix to support all FAA’s four missions by acquiring/leasing new and pre-owned aircraft. Some of the goals of the fleet replacement strategy included reducing fleet diversity, providing capacity and satisfying budget constraints.

Expect Project Outcomes:

The following represents some of the major tasks that the team intends to study and offer recommendations to the FAA. These follow-up tasks were identified by the team and FAA through recommendations for Phase I of the project.

  • Maintenance planning: initiate a study to provide recommendations on maintenance planning for the recommended fleet in phase I of this project. Some of the tasks will include:
    • Identify maintenance programs for the recommended fleet.
    • Analyze scheduled and unscheduled maintenance programs and how they impact the
      missions.
    • Design functional supportability assessment of current and recommended fleet.
    • Design process improvement.
    • Evaluate operational feasibility incorporating maintenance programs.
  • Man-Power planning fort maintenance operations: initiate studies focusing at identifying man-power planning utilizing existing and requirements for new personnel including:
    • Analyze the current skillsets and how they need to evolve with the recommended
      fleet over the planning period.
    • Develop models and provide recommendations to help with man-power planning for
      flight crew and maintenance personnel for the recommended fleet for each mission.
  • Business case support for acquisition strategy: help and support the FAA with building the business case for the new/used aircraft including developing what-if financial and operation models.

Value of Research:

The recommendations provided in phase I, offered a gradual aircraft replacement strategy for the 10-year planning period. The analyses from tasks in phase II, will provide a guidelines of how the recommended fleet will be integrated into operation on a year- by year basis and therefore identify possible challenges and bottlenecks.