AAR (NYSE: AIR), a leading aviation services provider to commercial airlines and governments worldwide, has announced the integration of Donecle drone technology into its award-winning maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations.
AAR´s Miami MRO facility is the first in its global network to use the fully automated drone technology to drive operational and cost efficiencies, where the pilot phase has yielded increases in speed and precision. With laser positioning, the drone can safely perform end-to-end visual inspections of B737 and A320 aircraft in under an hour.
"In exploring opportunities to increase efficiencies and best utilize our skilled workforce, AAR continually assesses opportunities to digitally enable our businesses," said Rahul Ghai, AAR Chief Digital Officer. "In the case of our MRO sites, our investments in technologies like drones, machine learning and mobile devices will drive a more efficient operation, optimized technician schedules, as well as improved turnaround times achieved through faster and more accurate inspections and maintenance plan execution. This will lead to ultimately higher customer satisfaction, while helping us build out richer data to enhance our overall maintenance planning and execution capabilities."
"We are very proud to support AAR in its innovations to better serve its customers and keep its position as the leading independent MRO worldwide, while also contributing to AAR´s digital transformation," said Josselin Bequet, Donecle CEO and Co-Founder.
Designed for MRO specifications, the drone is programmed to detect any aircraft structural damage, as well as assess paint quality, markings and signs of lightning strike. One complete scan by a drone covers the equivalent of several maintenance tasks and personnel, conserving significant time and resources in the inspection and overall maintenance turnaround time.
AAR and Donecle have partnered on an initial 12-month technology agreement, and upon further assessment and results, will expand the platform to other MRO facilities. In compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, AAR performs manual aircraft inspections in addition to the drone inspections.