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It seems that airports are busier than ever before. In a recent story run by Forbes, the ten busiest airports were identified with photos often showing a hectic environment. I could not help but wonder about the types of asset management issues this level of activity brings and how they can be managed better.

So doing a little research, I discovered that the most commonly talked about threats to aviation profitability are the theft of aircraft and parts, expensive avionics, and of course terrorism. But these are not the only problems that can cause airports to have profitability issues.

Airports by nature are multi-facility operations with assets big and small ranging from multiple hangars to conveyor belts. Each of theses assets requires constant care if an airport is to operate effectively. Without proper care, assets deteriorate faster resulting in accelerated capital expenditures as well as higher maintenance repair and operational (MRO) costs.

Proactive Airport Maintenance

The secret to keeping everything operational is to have a very strong proactive maintenance program. A good maintenance program not only lowers MRO expenses such as energy, repairs and labor but it also provides the tools that can help lower theft.

One of the best proactive maintenance programs comes as part of an EAM CMMS solution. EAM CMMS systems give airport maintenance managers and staff the ability to:

Ten Benefits of an Airport EAM CMMS

  1. Lower energy costs: Scheduled maintenance of HVAC, boilers, elevators, escalators and lighting will keep these assets in optimal condition thus requiring less energy to operate.
  2. Have fewer unplanned or emergency repairs. Inspections combined with preventive maintenance results in less down time for terminal transportation equipment, hanger operability and all smaller assets.
  3. Identify potential problems early on using a combination of inspections, checklists and rounds. Early identification can prevent more costly emergency repairs.
  4. Schedule maintenance activity during non-peak hours. This is good for assets ranging from runways to bathrooms and decrease traveler inconvenience as well as lower overtime.
  5. Perform inspections on all assets using mobile devices. The use of mobile devices saves paper time and also enables results to be transmitted back to management for quicker response times.
  6. Have Proof of Presence which increases accountability. The perfect solution for verifying critical assets have been inspected or worked upon.
  7. Know the location, description and condition of all assets at any given point in time. This has multiple advantages including:
    • Lowering opportunity theft
    • Being able to establish standard operating procedures based upon what maintenance practices works and what does not
    • Providing an accurate work history of each asset which will enable
      • Better capital planning by being able to make intelligent repair, replace or refurbish decisions
      • Mitigating liability from accidents by proving there was no asset care neglect.
  8. Ensure that all security systems are operational.
  9. Ensure all safety equipment is operational.
  10. Manage and track all assets from purchase through retirement.

An airport EAM CMMS may not handle all issues an airport faces but it does address enough of the operational problems to make a substantial difference in energy, labor and repair costs. Equally as important, EAM CMMS systems give airport managers the information they need to address a variety of concerns including theft, liability and capital expenditures.

In the modern world, information is king, the better the information available to all airport departments the more efficient, profitable and safer an airport becomes. EAM CMMS gives airport management the detailed information they need to make good
decisions.

To see the list of the ten busiest airports read the article America’s most crowded airports. The only real surprise I saw was that Charlotte Douglas International Airport was now the second busiest airport. The last time I was there it was just mid-size facility.