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updated: 10/25/2019 9:00 AM

AAR launches drone integration for aircraft inspections

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WOOD DALE -- Aviation services provider AAR announced the integration of Donecle drone technology into its maintenance, repair and overhaul operations.

AAR´s Miami facility is the first in its global network to use the fully automated drone technology to drive operational and cost efficiencies. With laser positioning, the drone can safely perform end-to-end visual inspections of Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft in under an hour.

The drone is programmed to detect any aircraft structural damage, as well as assess paint quality, markings and signs of lightning strike. One complete scan by a drone covers the equivalent of several maintenance tasks and personnel, conserving significant time and resources in the inspection and overall maintenance turnaround time.

AAR and Donecle have partnered on an initial 12-month technology agreement, and upon further assessment and results, will expand the platform to other MRO facilities. In compliance with Federal Aviation Administration requirements,

AAR performs manual aircraft inspections in addition to the drone inspections.

"In exploring opportunities to increase efficiencies and best utilize our skilled workforce, AAR continually assesses opportunities to digitally enable our businesses," said Rahul Ghai, AAR Chief Digital Officer. "In the case of our MRO sites, our investments in technologies like drones, machine learning and mobile devices will drive a more efficient operation, optimized technician schedules, as well as improved turnaround times achieved through faster and more accurate inspections and maintenance plan execution. This will lead to ultimately higher customer satisfaction, while helping us build out richer data to enhance our overall maintenance planning and execution capabilities."