Air Transport World

Data links and critical red. (Air Canada's computerized maintenance-schedule system)

Air Canada's computerized maintenance-scheduling system identifies critical chores and finds the person to fix them. By Hugh Whittington.

Montreal-Air Canada and Texas Instruments are developing a system based on artificial intelligence to schedule and sequence the carrier's aircraft maintenance. currently, the prototype system covers only the empennage of a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 but the airline hopes to have its entire 36-DC-9 fleet added by the end of one year.

"There are 500 to 1,500 routine maintenance jobs to be scheduled in the best sequence for manpower and parts," said Bruce Aubin, Air Canada's senior vice president-technical. "This is further complicated by unscheduled snags-there could be 300 or 600 of these that have to be integrated into the overall check." Air Canada Aircraft Maintenance System (ACMS) identifies tasks to the maintenance shift foreman, schedules them and offers possible solutions to unforeseen problems. The foreman's computer terminal displays the tasks in a bar-graph format based on the time required to perform each one, Aubin said. Routine activities are displayed in green, while priority, or critical, tasks are shown in red. if a routine chore is not completed in the planned time, its bar switches to red and it becomes a priority. …

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