For several years the global industry experts have been observing the intensifying fleet renewals and re-typing around the world. Complementing the process, the two major aircraft manufacturers have introduced new types of airplanes - Boeing 787, 747-8 and Airbus A380. The situation naturally urges airlines, maintenance organizations and supervising authorities to look for qualified personnel that would possess the competences required to serve, supervise and certify aircraft types, newly introduced to the fleet. Investing in the qualification of current employees might be one of the alternatives to employing additional manpower.
‘Just this week Scandinavian Airlines has announced that it has reached an agreement to sell and phase out all their current MD-80s. These aircraft will be eventually replaced by the pre-ordered Airbus A320 NEOs. Ethiopian Airlines received their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner this summer thus commencing the implementation of the company’s strategy to phase-out all their B767s. Virgin Atlantic plans to use B787s in replacing its much older A340s. The examples of the ongoing fleet renewals are numerous,’ commented the Deputy Head of FL Technics Training Dainius Sakalauskas.
However, while carriers are changing their fleet structures, MRO providers and CAAs are forced to respond to the alterations in the market. Whether an airline has its own MRO department or outsources the services, the introduction of new aircraft types urges maintenance organizations to further develop the qualification of their staff. Should an MRO fail to take care of the issue prior to the client’s fleet renewal, the carrier will be forced to switch over to another provider. Moreover, while the manufacturers intensify the delivery of Airbus A380s and Boeing 787s, national authorities are also in need of upgrading the qualification of the inspectors who would have the competence to conduct all the required certification with regard to the new aircraft types and their maintenance.
‘Planning the required type rating training in advance is a key factor which would ensure that an MRO organisation don’t lose its current clients due to fleet changes. This is also a topical issue for national authorities. Local airlines won’t be able to operate new aircraft types like Boeing 787 or Airbus A380 should CAA do not issue a relevant certificate for the aircraft. However, in order to do so, the oversight organisation also has to employ staff, qualified for a certain aircraft type. In any case, it is always vital to keep one’s type rating up with the modern dynamic airline market trends,’ commented Dainius Sakalauskas.