At the recent MRO Americas conference, American Airlines said it would stick with and continue to adapt its legacy maintenance software. With a huge fleet and a massive investment in the current system, that is understandable.
But American’s regional subsidiary, PSA Airlines, is moving to a new system, IFS’s Maintenix, to manage maintenance on a younger and much smaller fleet. This fleet is expected to grow to 150 Bombardier CRJs.
Gary Pratt, vice president of maintenance & engineering, says PSA chose Maintenix because it is the right solution, capable of meeting the carrier’s needs for a modern, flexible, and user-friendly approach to maintenance management and compliance control. Nevertheless, “moving from Merlin to this new web-based platform will be the largest maintenance technology investment in PSA’s history,” Pratt says. “PSA is also the first American Airlines wholly-owned carrier to embark on such a critical endeavor.”
And the airline is moving fast to the new application. Maintenix announced it would support PSA in April, 2017, shortly after it was acquired by IFS. 2. Pratt says implementation of the new system began promptly in the first quarter of 2017.
The maintenance exec expects implementation to take about 20 months and says “nearly 600 employees will be using the system by the end of 2018.”
The airline is expecting clear benefits from moving to the modern MRO software. Maintenix “will move our maintenance organization beyond green screen technology into a web-based platform,” Pratt says. “When this project is fully implemented, the PSA maintenance organization will have tools and resources that will provide greater efficiency in how we schedule required maintenance events, capture data to improve fleet reliability, record and maintain aircraft records, manage our parts and tooling inventory and execute on unplanned maintenance discrepancies.” He also expects gains in improved regulatory compliance and departmental data visibility.
As usual, the biggest challenges in implementation will be data migration and training. “Migrating data from a legacy system with limited controls to a modern system with tight integration and configuration control,” will be a major task, Pratt says. And “moving from an on-the-job training platform to a system- focused training approach will be a significant challenge due to the sheer volume of users.”