Going Viral: Remote Monitoring

There are many theories about how coronavirus will change the world, but one of the most widely heard is that it will boost remote working.

For the most part, this isn’t possible in aircraft maintenance, although the sector’s corollary trend may turn out to be a rise in remote monitoring.

This was already emerging prior to the virus as certain MRO providers allowed customers to, for example, follow an engine overhaul via video link. This is now likely to receive greater approval due to difficulty of travelling for on-site checks.

Etihad Engineering is using GoPro cameras to capture and share continuous footage of maintenance processes with its clients, who it also engages with via virtual meetings.

“We understand that it may not be possible for some of our customers to be physically present with us as engineering work on their aircraft progresses, however we have embraced the technology available to communicate seamlessly with our clients based all over the world,” says Frederic Dupont, vice-president technical sales and customer service, Etihad Engineering.

Meanwhile, the MRO’s parent airline has used the window provided by coronavirus to spruce up the cabins across its 96-aircraft fleet.

Due to be completed by the end of June, the refurbishment includes cabin renovations, interior detailing, seat repairs and a full sweep of the inflight entertainment system.

Other projects that Etihad Engineering has busied itself with include passenger-to-freighter conversions, longeron modifications, heavy maintenance, major structural modification, parking solutions, and painting and deep cleaning of aircraft for both Etihad Airways and third-party airline customers.

“We have taken advantage of the grounding period and used it to carry out maintenance services to ensure the entire fleet is operating at its optimal and will be uninterrupted by maintenance requirements as services return,” says Dupont.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.