Lengthy deliveries and limited access to required parts may affect flight safety
Jul 18th, 2012
In spite of vigorous and constant progress in aircraft manufacturing technologies, flights are still not 100% safe. Human factor remains to be the most common reason for aviation accidents and incidents, thus it is up to airlines, MROs and other market players to develop strategies aimed at lowering the associated risks. The improvements are necessary not only in the field of flight and technical personnel training , but also in the management of spare parts’ supply chain, since lengthy deliveries and limited access to spare parts may trigger additional human factor related issues.
‘It is no secret that the majority of aviation incidents and accidents are attributable to the human factor. In Russia the rates are as high as 80%, whilst in Australia human errors cause approx. 70% of accidents. However, it should be pointed out that human errors are not related to flight crew members only,’ commented the CEO of Locatory.com Zilvinas Sadauskas.
According to the State University of New York at Buffalo in yearly 1990s the maintenance-related failures contributed to around 18% of all aviation accidents and incidents in the USA. As concerns the latest global figures, according to Fundación Andaluza Fondo de Formación y Empleo, nowadays the maintenance factor contributes to “only” 8% of the accidents and incidents worldwide. Most maintenance-related human errors are triggered by such issues as the shortage of technical specialists, psychological pressure due to lengthy deliveries and short deadlines, as well as the lack of equipment or aircraft parts, etc.
Table 1. Human factors by segments. Source: Fundación Andaluza Fondo de Formación y Empleo
‘All of the aforementioned factors are particularly familiar to the emerging aviation markets. Though the situation has significantly improved in the last ten years or so, some safety issues, related to the ineffective supply chain, still affect the industry. Due to limited resources and access to the global spare parts market, local airlines and MROs based in such emerging markets as South and Central Americas are facing additional risks. In AOG situations the companies and their employees incur extra pressure due to fortune-costing downtimes, delays and the inability to speed up lengthy deliveries. Moreover, sometimes the failure to find the required component may lead to the acquisition of an improper or incorrect spare part. This may be a very serious and alarming factor, since it corresponds to 7-9% of all maintenance related human errors in the global aviation. Considering all what has been mentioned, the emerging aviation markets are strongly urged to make a further step in their development and explore, for instance, e-business possibilities, including e-procurement and e-marketing, in order to enter the global spare parts marketplace, optimize their Human Resources and lower the delivery terms,’ explained Zilvinas Sadauskas.