Aircraft maintenance check scheduling using reinforcement learning

Pedro Andrade*, Catarina Silva, Bernardete Ribeiro, Bruno F. Santos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
121 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a Reinforcement Learning (RL) approach to optimize the long-term scheduling of maintenance for an aircraft fleet. The problem considers fleet status, maintenance capacity, and other maintenance constraints to schedule hangar checks for a specified time horizon. The checks are scheduled within an interval, and the goal is to, schedule them as close as possible to their due date. In doing so, the number of checks is reduced, and the fleet availability increases. A Deep Q-learning algorithm is used to optimize the scheduling policy. The model is validated in a real scenario using maintenance data from 45 aircraft. The maintenance plan that is generated with our approach is compared with a previous study, which presented a Dynamic Programming (DP) based approach and airline estimations for the same period. The results show a reduction in the number of checks scheduled, which indicates the potential of RL in solving this problem. The adaptability of RL is also tested by introducing small disturbances in the initial conditions. After training the model with these simulated scenarios, the results show the robustness of the RL approach and its ability to generate efficient maintenance plans in only a few seconds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Maintenance check scheduling
  • Q-learning
  • Reinforcement learning


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