Maintaining and updating maintenance manuals are the first steps toward keeping safe and staying in compliance with regulatory requirements.
As at many airlines, most of Icelandair’s maintenance documents and manuals, including flight operations publications, had been maintained and distributed using an in-house document management system, says Alvar Sverrisson, project manager and deputy Electronic Flight Bag administrator. However, “some documents were managed using OEM solutions, so it was a very fragmented environment which required different management methods and distribution approaches, including digital and hardcopies.”
The challenge was intensified by sheer volume. On the maintenance side, the number of manuals that needed to be updated ranged from 15 to 20. “But individual document numbers could exceed that greatly at any given point,” Sverrisson says. Moreover, “some documents required updating on a monthly or yearly basis, some even more frequently. OEM updates tend to follow an organized publication schedule, while update requirements from the regulators, such as the local civil aviation authority, could be more frequent following an audit or regulatory changes. Internal material changes continue to be a factor.”
As a result, Icelandair encountered problems managing different publication methods for documentation from different sources. “Also, maintaining a hardcopy of each document alongside a digital one did not fully achieve the desired cost benefits or efficiency targets the company had set,” Sverrisson says.
After sending out a request for proposals, the carrier looked at a half dozen vendors and chose Web Manuals for its online manual solution. Web Manuals updates, manages, distributes and verifies receipt of updates all in one web-based system. But major work still lay ahead. “The transition to Web Manuals took around two years,” Sverrisson says. “Our solution is forever evolving and improving, and some features we have yet to adopt.”
On the flight operations side, Web Manuals was operational in 2016. On the maintenance side, the process is still ongoing and slower due to different complexities of regulatory, OEM or company requirements. Icelandair recently contracted with Comply365 for digital distribution of maintenance documents.
Nevertheless, the carrier has already seen gains in the speed, accuracy and productivity of its manual management and updating. “Publishing speed has increased as well as accuracy as we now have the subject matter experts working directly on the related documents and manuals,” Sverrisson says. “Web Manuals has also integrated well into our Electronic Flight Bag environment.”
The EFB administrator says his airline likes to be at the forefront of new developments and take advantage of new technology or methods. He is looking forward to seeing enhancements Web Manuals has planned on applications for iOS and Windows.