Avianca Plans To Use UAVs In Aircraft Maintenance Inspections Written 30 January 2019

MRO Network reports that Colombian airline Avianca is planning to employ UAVs and cameras to perform some of its aircraft maintenance inspections. To date, the use of UAVs for such inspections “has not been approved for by any airframe OEM or regulatory authority for inspections.” As such, Avianca Vice President of Engineering and Maintenance Miguel Angel Montoya Estrada said, “So we are reviewing the state of [the] art and waiting for the approval of different authorities and aircraft manufacturers.” Estrada explained that the carrier is pursuing this strategy to reduce inspection time and improve quality by improving its precision in locating and evaluating damage. Avianca hopes that UAV inspection will also “reduce maintenance costs and facilitate the execution of inspection task cards.” Avianca is currently working with Airbus and Donecle and “testing their equipment.” The carrier “estimates that Donecle drones can reduce inspection time from eight hours to 30 minutes.” As Avianca seeks approvals, the carrier is also “completing the integration of the entire system as a line map, including the structural repair manual for mechanics, the 3D scanner and the drone.”
More Info (MRO Network)