Presently the airline business is evolving in response to a number of economic factors. While some of these factors are external, including the cost of fuel and new security measures, airlines have begun to recognize that survival may depend on their ability to control the internal factors. New or growing competitive airlines have built their enterprises on lower labor costs, higher efficiency, greater effectiveness, and the ability to adjust to customers needs. One component of these successful models is the out sourcing of work tasks that can be priced at a fixed and per unit basis. Establishing outside aircraft maintenance arrangements with large Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) companies is a major trend in today’s airline environment. This trend appears to be gaining momentum and has the potential to play a significant role in the turnaround sought by the airlines. Purdue University’s Aviation Technology Department has completed extensive research into the MRO business, both in the U.S. and overseas, including China. Much of this research has been concentrated on floor level operations, revealing many important factors for consideration as this business continues to expand. The MRO business is a complex business that must answer to a number of different stakeholders, including airline customer requirements, repair station regulations, EPA, and OSHA. Given the nature of the business, it is no surprise that interpretations of repair requirements and FAA policy differ from one station to another. Nonetheless, compliance with required and accepted maintenance procedures is of fundamental importance and of primary concern for maintaining safe and efficient airline travel. This paper will focus on the changes and support of oversight and the need for standardization as the MRO business expands in the United States and around the world.


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