SAS aims to move to a paperless maintenance environment over the next two years, notes Gunnar Andersson, director of technical training at SAS. At present, SAS mechanics use iPads to access to aircraft manuals, but these devices are mainly used on tarmacs, not in hangars.
Andersson says SAS plans to launch in the first quarter of 2020 personal mobile phones for all mechanics and other staff on the ramp. “We are decommissioning the old radio systems and will use mobile phones to communicate and share information in the production process within the company.”
Also in the first quarter of 2020, SAS will deploy an RFID solution. In the first phase RFID will be used to track all life vests and afterwards will be expanded to other components.
One SAS taskforce is currently working on acquiring an electronic technical log system, while another is working on an electronic signature solution. “The intention is to implement this during 2020,” Andersson says.
The final piece of the paperless project is developing mobile access to SAS’s maintenance production system, AMOS. “Here we are looking into different solutions, but we have not yet decided what way to go,” Andersson notes.
Beyond going paperless, SAS is also looking at artificial intelligence tools. One team is prototyping AI solutions for internal use within SAS. The carrier already has some AI tools for passengers, for example a chatbot named Turi after SAS’s own Turi Widerøe, the world’s first female commercial air pilot for a major airline. SAS will next look at AI and chatbots to support to airline staff in various functions.
SAS has looked at drones for inspections, but is not currently prioritizing this technology.