Many businesses, including the aviation industry, are trying to anticipate what the new normal might entail on the other side of COVID-19. However, everyone knows that there won't be any instant recovery for those operating in the aviation business.
One of the most significant issues faced by aircraft operators and owners is the extended downtimes they're facing due to the ongoing uncertainty created by the CoronaVirus pandemic. While most of them may not intend to sell their airplanes immediately, they also don't see flying their planes in the foreseeable future.
The common notion among most aircraft owners currently is to reduce their operational and maintenance costs significantly wherever possible. There are different vital factors to consider when deciding to decrease aircraft operating costs and cease airplane utilization.
The following are some essential areas you need to focus on when making financially-responsible decisions about your aircraft during extended downtimes:
During enhanced downtime of your aircraft, you're left with two main choices - either exercising your aircraft or preserving it. Exercising your plane will provide you with improved value for your money in the short-run.
Adequate conservation of aircraft components such as the avionics, engines, APUs, and airframes need a detailed, highly labor-intensive procedure involving specialized equipment. Moreover, you may also need to repeat many preservation steps periodically during the specific items' downtime period.
Taking your plane out of preservation requires a lot of effort and extra labor hours due to the operational checks involved in the process. Due to increased complexity, it's a viable option if you plan to store your aircraft for more than six months, and it's not cost-efficient for anything less than that time period.
Exercising your airplane will help make sure each system of your plane is in the right working order, and if there are any issues found, you can address them right away.
Inspections Are Vital
Despite having your aircraft parked, you still need to keep up with all of its scheduled calendar inspections. Some important reasons to perform checks on a parked airplane include ensuring corrosion control and making sure all of its parts are well lubricated to avoid future damage.
The specific intervals for aircraft inspections are predetermined by the OEM engineers that need to be followed for timely corrective actions. Inspecting your aircraft too early may lead to missing an underlying issue that can't be detected and treated yet. Ultimately, this could put some parts of your plane under tremendous stress that might require extensive repairs, resulting in losing your aircrafts value.
Pushing out the aircraft inspection beyond its scheduled interval could also lead to similar problems. Therefore, it's highly recommended always to follow your specific plane's predetermined inspection intervals to avoid costly repairs afterward.
Under the COVID-19 pandemic's current situation, you may want to pause or decrease the insurance coverage on your plane to save some costs. An airplane is consistently exposed to various types of risks, including natural disasters causing significant damage.
Your aircraft can also get damaged if you keep it in a hangar or on the ramp. Thus, it's wise to maintain full insurance active on your plane at all times. Reducing or changing coverage on your aircraft may also present financial risks from being over or under-insured.
It's best to perform an aircraft appraisal and adjust the insurance coverage on your plane's current appraised value. It's worth noting that a specific aircraft's value can improve or reduce significantly depending on the state of the economy and the current market inventory.
Acorn Welding is an expert aircraft parts manufacturer and maintenance provider based in Canada. Visit our website to learn about our high-quality products and services or contact us for personalized care.