A web-based decision support system for aircraft dispatch and maintenance

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Abstract

Aircraft dispatch involves determining the optimal dispatch option when an aircraft experiences an unexpected failure. Currently, maintenance technicians at the apron have limited access to support information and finding the right information in extensive maintenance manuals is a time-consuming task, often leading to technically induced delays. This paper introduces a novel web-based prototype decision support system to aid technicians during aircraft dispatch decision-making and subsequent maintenance execution. A system architecture for real-time dispatch decision support is established and implemented. The developed system is evaluated through a case study in an operational environment by licensed maintenance technicians. The system fully automates information retrieval from multiple data sources, performs alternative identification and evaluation for a given fault message, and provides the technician with on-site access to relevant information, including the related maintenance tasks. The case study indicates a potential time saving of up to 98% per dispatch decision. Moreover, it enables digitalization of the—currently mostly paper-based—dispatch decision process, thereby reducing logistics and paper waste. The prototype is the first to provide operational decision support in the aircraft maintenance domain and addresses the lack of correlation between theory and practice often found in decision support systems research by providing a representative case study. The developed custom parser for SGML-based documents enables efficient identification and extraction of relevant information, vastly contributing to the overall reduction of the decision time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154
Number of pages19
JournalAerospace
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Data integration
  • Decision support
  • Dispatch assessment
  • Information retrieval
  • Mobile tools

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