What links the following statements (besides all being subjects covered in this issue)?

British Airways plans to receive its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 in 2013 (page MRO18).

Air France KLM Engineering & Maintenance's new engine test cell at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport accommodates big engines such as the GE90 (page MRO32).

•Technical Engineering Group in Ireland sees more operators negotiating just-in-time type inventory contracts and incorporating penalty clauses if the supplier fails to deliver when promised (page MRO4).

•Norwegian Airlines selected Boeing's Edge logistics and maintenance support for its 787s, and it is considering similar programs for the Airbus A320NEO and 737 MAX aircraft on order (page MRO4).

•Dutch MRO Samco supports mobile repair teams in Africa from Maastricht (page MRO11).

Rolls-Royce intends to offer another retrofit kit in 2015 for Trent 700s that should increase the engine's fuel burn (page MRO28).

•Air Maintenance Estonia's narrowbody hangar that opened in August includes an unmanned tool management system with radio-frequency identification (page MRO21).

I wish I could hear your answers right now, but since I cannot, I will guess you said the easiest links are: A. These are all European companies; B. They all involve the aftermarket and services; C. They all have a technology element; D. They improve productivity and/or efficiencies.

In choosing the aftermarket facts above, I strove to find examples of how airlines and MROs are improving their productivity (answer D), but technology, logistics and efficiencies underpin the statements, too. So perhaps the foundational link is: E. Data.

Not surprisingly, data management, data standards and extracting predictive knowledge from the data were discussed and debated at Aviation Week's MRO IT Forum, Sept. 19-21. Fernando Ferreira Matos, TAP Maintenance & Engineering's head of information technologies, thinks the industry has too much data today and does not use it effectively. This could be exacerbated as more next-gen aircraft, such as the Airbus A350 and 787, become operational.

He says the A350 is requiring TAP to rethink its logistics system and how part numbers alter by uploading different software. This is such a big change that he predicts the workforce will view operations as “before the A350 and after the A350.”

Steve Bogie, Air Canada's program director for business & IT strategy, agrees that next-gen aircraft will send volumes of data on each flight but he does not expect airlines to download it all.

“What are the critical pieces that bring value to your organization?,” he asks. Downloading and transmitting data can be expensive, so he suggests thinking hard about filtering it and finding “the sweet spot.”

—Lee Ann Tegtmeier

MRO Edition Chief Editor