Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre of Applied Research Technology

A model to improve aircraft availability in the MRO&U Triad


The purpose of the research is to develop a model on achieving and improving one relevant concurrent indicator for all participants in an aircraft maintenance, repair, overhaul and update (MRO&U) triad. The triad is formed by the OEM, the maintainer and the operator. We found that availability is relevant for the utilization of aircraft and could be a good indicator for collaborative success of the MRO&U triad.

This research categorizes as a theory building research (Dul & Hak, 2008). The new theory is based on the theories on triads, alliances, transaction cost economics and the theory on performance based contracts. Based on literature from these academic fields, we have identified indicators for successful collaboration with respect to availability as outcome of the triad. The indicators are used to perform a comparative study into „airworthiness‟, as this is a mechanism in the aircraft MRO&U triad that creates a collaborative outcome. Based on this comparison a preliminary model of availability in the MRO&U triad is built. This model is validated in a multiple case study. The model developed indicates that to develop a successful collaboration a performance based collaboration agreement with availability as performance indicator has to be in place between the MRO&U triad partners in which well-defined conditions are enforced. The model can be used to improve aircraft availability by optimizing the collaboration in the MRO&U triad. The research revealed however that the model is also applicable to improve aircraft reliability, maintainability and supportability as performance outcomes of collaboration in the MRO&U triad. The model adds on the classic transaction cost thinking, as it adds collaborative indicators. The practical contribution of our research is that managers and operators in the aviation MRO&U field now have a model they can use to improve aircraft availability, as a collaborative result of cooperation in the MRO&U triad.

Reference Kaelen, J., Santema, S.C., de Boer, R.J. A model to improve Aircraft Availability. In: Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference on Industrial Marketing and Purchasing, Atlanta, USA.
30 August 2013

Publication date

Aug 2013


Kaelen, J.
Santema, S.C.
de Boer, R.J.