West Star Aviation Rolls Out New Maintenance Technology

Credit: West Star Aviation

West Star Aviation is simplifying workflows for its technicians through a new effort to get tablets in the hands of its MRO workforce across the U.S. According to the business aircraft MRO and FBO provider, its new technology rollout will improve the efficiency and scaling of work processes on the shop floor, reduce downtimes and provide benefits across its range of aircraft capabilities.

“Improving access to technology and making work simpler is what drives our ongoing charge to explore new ways of work, which is what led us to looking at the systems we use and the ways we use them,” says a representative for West Star Aviation. “We aren’t focused on ‘going paperless’ as much as we are on ensuring the way we work is as simple as possible. In some cases, paper is simple, but in other cases technology is better.”

West Star began exploring the use of iPads on the shop floor through a beta test of CAMP Systems’ Corridor Go aviation maintenance software last fall. It distributed custom configured iPads to technicians at its Perryville Regional Airport (PCD) facility to access the software, which enables functionality such as digital work orders and parts ordering without needing to leave the shop floor.

The iPads also give technicians access to OEM maintenance manuals, updated technical information, vendor-issued apps and West Star’s own proprietary systems, such as its internal communication channel and learning management system for on-demand training. Technicians are able to access West Star’s own training programs as well as FAA specific training and virtual maintenance initial training provided by partners.

“The pandemic brought this technology online faster than anticipated, but actually was perfect timing for us to get these digital tools in place and working before the shops were back up to full operation,” says a representative for West Star Aviation.

The company finished distributing iPads to technicians at its Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) location this week and is now turning its sights toward implementing the technology at Chattanooga Airport (CHA) and St. Louis Regional Airport (ALN). It plans to achieve full implementation of custom configured iPads company-wide by the end of May, which will entail providing access to more than 600 technicians.

“This substantial investment in technology is aimed at simplifying workflow wherever possible by providing a more digitally enabled work environment,” says Katie Johnson, vice president, human resources, West Star Aviation. “By providing hardware that provides quick access to technical data, training material and safety certification content in the hands of the technicians, we are continuing to empower our people to succeed.”

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.