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BA moves to predictive, automated maintenance reporting system

British Airways
© British Airways

A cutting-edge engineering system that uses real-time data to predict aircraft maintenance issues is helping British Airways (BA) reduce delays and save the use of more than 900,000 pieces of paper a year.

The E-Logs platform will provide live performance information about all of the airline’s 270 jets, allowing the airline to immediately spot potential problems and proactively fix them and reduce downtime. It is replacing a costly and time-consuming paper-based system with an entirely automated process that makes it much easier for pilots and cabin crew to log issues.

Andy Best, Chief Technical Officer at BA, said: “We’re using the latest technology to help ensure we continue delivering a consistently high standard of service for our customers – always with a focus on safety. Our investment in innovative tools like this, means we can support our teams to identify and put solutions in place ahead of time. By replacing time-consuming manual processes with digital technology we are constantly improving the reliability of our aircraft fleet and as a result our customers’ experience.” 

Aircraft technical logs are a regulatory requirement that have historically been paper-based. Flight and cabin crew would log any faults in writing and these are then transcribed and transferred to maintenance teams, which carry out any required work and again update the aircraft maintenance log in writing. The E-Logs system, which will see a number of specialist iPads placed on every aircraft, will replace the paper-based system entirely and allows the immediate transfer of data from the aircraft to engineers within seconds – before the aircraft arrives at its destination.

This means engineers can pre-order any required parts and resolve issues more quickly on arrival, reducing the amount of time planes are out of action. The technology also allows BA to predict faults and pre-emptively correct them before they become an issue that might take an aircraft offline.

The system forms part of BA’s £7 billion transformation investment over the next two years. This is the biggest ever investment in the business to revolutionise how teams work, rolling-out the very latest technology to boost the customer experience. This includes cutting-edge machine learning, automation and AI across the operation, driving improvements from bookings to baggage handling and helping cut cancellations and delays. 

The tools being used are revolutionising how the airline works, replacing time-consuming manual processes with tech-based solutions to ensure that the right information is in the right place at the right time.  

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