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Airservices automates maintenance procedures

by Justin Hendry •
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Airservices Australia will soon modernise their ageing maintenance module with a commercial off the shelf (COTS) Field Force Automation Solution, increasing reliance on the use of Mobile Field Devices (MFD).

The Request for Tender (RFT) invites experienced vendors to “automate Airservices Australia’s Technical Services branch’s maintenance practices and improve the efficiency of the branch’s operating practices,” as stated in Tender documents.

The COTS solution will be designed, built and integrated into existing business operations over four phases: project initiation; design-build integration; live pilot; and national rollout. The would-be application will be hosted at Airservices.

It is expected that the collaborative mobile automated maintenance tool  will be able to utilise MFD and eForms to provide regularly updated documents to centralised repositories, improving records management and traceability. Airservices plans to purchase an initial 400 MFD in the form of tablets, laptops and smartphones but tenderers have the option to either supply hardware or just recommend.

The solution would also have the flexibility to accommodate future changes to procedures and maintenance requirements.

Airservices, a government-owned subsidiary of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, provides airspace management, aeronautical information, aviation communications, radio navigation aids and aviation firefighting services.

The Technical Services branch of Airservices are tasked with maintaining the airways system assets, which number some 640 sites across the Australia network.

Currently, 360 Field Technicians in 18 radio, electrical, mechanical, lines and IT systems maintenance centres are allocated work via a SAP plant maintenance module.

The module has been in operation since 2003 and delivers an estimated 100,000 Work Orders per year.

However, the age of the module has meant that the bulk of the Work Orders are manual and paper-based, creating “shortfalls in the areas of regulatory compliance and process efficiency.”

Replacement of Airservices desktop hardware is also underway with Windows XP to be replaced by Windows 8.1.

Submissions for the RFT will close on 11 May 2015 with Phase 1 commencing on 1 September 2015.

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