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MRO- Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul. All actions which have the objective of retaining or restoring an item in or to a state in which it can perform its required function. The actions include the combination of all technical and corresponding administrative, managerial, and supervision actions.

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mro maintenance repair overhaul

MRO- Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul

All actions which have the objective of retaining or restoring an item in or to a state in which it can perform its required function. The actions include the combination of all technical and corresponding administrative, managerial, and supervision actions.

mro maintenance repair overhaul1
MRO- Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul
  • Aircraft MRO is the overhaul, repair, inspection or modification of an aircraft or aircraft component
  • Maintenance includes the installation or removal of a component from an aircraft or aircraft subassembly, but does not include:
    • Elementary work, such as spark plugs, checking cylinder compression, etc
    • Servicing, such as refueling, washing windows
    • Any work done on an aircraft or aircraft component as part of the manufacturing process, prior to issue of a certificate of airworthiness or other certification document

JAA - Joint Aviation Authorities

  • JAR - Joint Aviation Requirements
  • JAR-OPS 1 & 3 issued in May 1995
  • JAR-OPS 1 - Aeroplanes
  • JAR-OPS 3 - Helicopters
  • Applicability, i.a.w. JAR-OPS 1 & 3 Subpart A:
  • Civil aeroplanes in commercial air transportation
  • Operators whose principal place of business is in a JAA Member State
  • JAR-OPS 1 & 3 Subpart M:
  • Subpart M defines the aircraft maintenance requirements as viewed from the perspective of the Airline Operator
  • Subparts B and C also define maintenance related requirements

Regulation of Maintenance


Responsibilities of Airline Operators

  • An Airline Operator shall ensure the airworthiness of the aeroplane and the serviceability of both the operational and emergency equipment, being responsible to perform and / or control the following.

Airworthiness Directives (ADs)

Maintenance i.a.w. maintenance programme

Preflight inspection

Defect rectification to an approved standard

Modifications and its policy

Effectiveness analysis

Life limits and expiry dates

These requirements must be performed in accordance with procedures acceptable to the Authority


The Airline Operator is therefore responsible for:

Responsibilities of Airline Operators

  • The airworthy condition of the aeroplane, even if the Airline Operator does not perform any maintenance
  • Managing a maintenance programme (what maintenance is required, when to perform it, by whom and to what standard) and getting Authority approval
  • Amending the maintenance programme and getting Authority approval
  • Maintaining adequate knowledge of the design status of the aeroplane
  • Establishing a policy, and work to that policy, to assess non-mandatory information such as certain Service Bulletins, Service Letters, etc.
  • Analysing the effectiveness of the maintenance programme, with regard to spares, established defects, malfunctions and damage
  • Providing a clear work order to the JAR-145 maintenance organization
  • Checking the subcontracted work at the maintenance facilities

Responsibilities of Airline Operators

  • An Airline Operator shall establish and maintain a Quality System in accordance with JAR-OPS 1.035 (Subpart B).
  • An Airline Operator shall therefore establish a Quality System and designate a Quality Manager, acceptable to the Authority.
  • The Quality System must at least monitor:
  • The Quality System may be combined with JAR-145 Quality System.
  • Compliance with approved procedures, ref. JAR-OPS 1.035(a)
  • Feedback system to the Accountable Manager, ref. JAR-OPS 1.035(a)
  • Quality Assurance Programme, ref. JAR-OPS 1.035(b)
  • JAR-OPS 1.890 activities i.a.w. accepted procedures, ref. JAR-OPS 1.900(a)(1)
  • Contracted maintenance i.a.w. the contract, ref. JAR-OPS 1.900(a)(2)
  • Continued compliance with Subpart M, ref. JAR-OPS 1.900(a)(3)
types of maintenance
Types of Maintenance

Each airline develops its own program, based on manufacturer’s planning documents, but includes adjustments for the airline’s own operations

Each aircrafts requires different operators and programs

BUT, aircraft of the same number of routine maintenance hours during the program cycle


MRO- Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul

  • Maintenance of aircraft usually categorized into
    • Product type (airframe, engine and components)
    • Timing and purpose of work
  • Then, resulted into 4 categories
    • Routine scheduled maintenance
    • Non-routine maintenance
    • Refurbishments
    • Modifications
routine scheduled maintenance
Routine scheduled maintenance
  • Includes airframe and engine checks
  • The most elementary is visual inspection of the aircraft before flight- ‘walk-around’
  • To ensure there are no leaks, missing rivets or cracks
  • Types of checks-In Grades
    • Overnight
    • A-Check

Routine scheduled maintenance

    • B-check
    • C-check
    • D-Check
  • Overnight: Operate 1 to 1.5 hrs. inspection (End of working day) to ensure the plane operating in according to OEM ‘s (Original Equipment Manufacturer) minimum list
  • In, example installation of telephones and other devices

Routine scheduled maintenance

  • A-Check: Done after 125flight hours (2-3 weeks)
    • An amplified preflight visual inspection of plane's power plants, avionics and accessories
  • B-Check: Done approximately after 175 flight hours (3 to 4 months)
    • An open inspection for preventive maintenance (exterior wash, engine oil)
    • Oils filters are removed and checked, parts are lubricated and carefully examined

Routine scheduled maintenance

  • C-check: Carried out approximately for every 3000 flight hours (15 months)
    • Incorporates both A and B checks
    • Components are repaired,
    • Flights controls are calibrated
    • Major internal mechanism are tested
    • Other tests include minor structural inspections, compressor, flight control rigging tests, engine, compressor washes, aircraft appearance maintenance, and post-check flight tests

Routine scheduled maintenance

  • D-Check: The most intensive, approximately 20, 000 flights hours (6-8 years)
    • Cabin interiors (including seats, galleys, lavatories, cockpit, furnishings, headliners and sidewalls) are removed to enable careful structural inspections
    • Flights controls are examined and the fuel system is probed for leaks and cracks
    • The aircraft is stripped to its shell and rebuilt to return it to its original con

Routine scheduled maintenance

Engine Compressor washes

flight control rigging tests

MRO activities


Engine Maintenance

I must leave this shop in full airworthy condition !

CFM56-5B and CFM56-5C at TAP Maintenance & Engineering C-Check Hangar

JT8D at TAP Maintenance & Engineering Engine Overhaul Shop

TAT and profit margin considerations shall never impair quality !


Original Equipment Manufacturers (own facilities or acquired shops)


ex: GE, Snecma, P&W, RR, etc.


Airline Engine Shops (integrated or independent from airline)

ex: TAP M&E, KLM E&M, Lufthansa Technik, Air France Industries, etc.


Independent Engine Shops

ex: MTU, Fiat Avio, IAI, etc.

Engine MRO Providers

non routine maintenance
Non-routine Maintenance

Done due to unforeseen event such as accident.

An example of the first engine damage due to bird ingestion or an airframe dented by a catering truck

Done also for an aging aircraft


Any form of upgrading of cleaning, brighting, or making it fresh again.

To renovate and upgrade the aircraft

For example: Cabin upgrades and exterior painting


Any form of small alteration, adjustment, or limitation to fulfill the aircraft’s owner.

Most modifications are carried out within the interior design, not much on the airframe and engine.

For example: Installation of karaoke, PS3 and various kind of entertainment in the cabin

overhaul of airframes
Overhaul of airframes

A plan where a series of seven minor overhauls and one major check were conducted on aircraft

The major overhaul was designed to rework the airplane to a like-new condition-to fit the bits and pieces back together to the exactness of current manufacturing tolerances

overhaul of engines and other components
Overhaul of engines and other components

Components are brought in when either operating time/ condition requires it

The overhaul returns them to specifications laid down by engineering and manufacturer

BUT when practical, engine changes are made during maintenance checks or airframe overhauls

contract maintenance
Contract Maintenance


  • When the airline do not have the personnel and equipment to perform maintenance
  • When serving a distant airport at which they do not have maintenance support


  • Different types of aircraft requires different expertise from different areas
  • Low labor cost
  • Important note:
    • Some contracts extend to other functions, such as cleaning and fueling the aircraft


Manage workscope vs. required TAT

Manage stock level vs. required TAT


Manage scrap replacement vs. repair


Expectation from Engine MRO Provider

The key challenge for an Engine MRO Provider is to manage the balance between TAT and Cost maintaining

Performance, Flexibility, Quality


Expectation from Engine MRO Provider

Reliability, Quality and Speed are nowadays more important than Price for the Airline Operator

Source: A.T. Kearney


Relative importance


MRO Challenges

In order to reduce costs and increase survivability, Airline Operators focus on their core businessand reduce staff to a minimum

Shortage of skilled staff is one of the greatest obstacles today for future performance gains among Airline Operators

Newer engines are becoming increasingly more complexrequiring higher levels of engineering expertise

Highly competitiveengine MRO situation prevents Providers from obtaining desired profit margins

In general, Airline capability to control their JAR-OPS 1.890 responsibilities in respect to engines has decreased significantly in the past years and will probably continue in the near future

Stresses MRO Quality Assurance departments

Added responsibilities on JAR-145 approved organisations stress National Authorities and Internal Audit to maintain proper control


MRO Challenges

Hey pal, I have some friends in the technical dept. who take real good care of me.

I guess I will end up in the hands of an MRO Provider… I just hope it is really good !

Airlines are for flying ! I’ve got to reduce some resources in other departments. boys…! just want to fly, but they must take care of their planes too. I’d better keep close control.

My QA friend really knows his place and his people. He’s doing a fine job. I have to help him more.

Time is money. Hurry up !





Humm... These mechanics know what they’re doing, but are always under stress. I’d better tighten the control and check them more often.

Sometimes there are just so many rules, so much to learn and so little time !...

... and my boss always tells me to hurry up.




Question 1

  • The aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) sector has seen tremendous growth in recent years that involve cost centre within an airline, the maintenance, modification and aftermarket servicing of commercial aircraft, engines and components.
  • Briefly explain in your own words the concept of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). (3 marks)
  • b) Describe in your own words the responsibility of the airline MRO operator?(9 marks)
  • c) From your opinion, which is the most challenging task for an MRO operator and state your reason why. (3 marks)

Question 2

  • Airliner would develops its own MRO program, based on manufacturer’s planning documents, but includes adjustments for the airline’s own operations.
  • Discuss in details the four categories of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) (9 marks)
  • b) Discuss in your own words significance of MRO engine maintenance . (3 marks)
  • c) From your opinion, what are the key success indicator for an MRO service provider? (3 marks)

Question 3

  • MRO today has become more sophisticated in identifying, diagnosing and transmitting defects that require the important feature of MRO Management.
  • Briefly explain the difference in refurbishments and modifications in MRO. State some examples to support your answer. (4 marks)
  • b) Discuss in your own words the standard expectations from an MRO Provider (8 marks)
  • c) From your opinion, which MRO provider would you prefer to service your aircraft? State your reasons (3 marks)

Question 4

  • One of the most critical activities for airline MRO is to strike a balance between supply and demand, as insufficient stock of spare parts can lead to stock outs and  creating lost revenue opportunities.
  • Briefly discuss all the challenges that the MRO provider
  • faces. (8 marks)
  • Guide MAS that has more than 1 year old aircraft with 3000 flight hours completed in the MRO routine scheduled maintenance. Which types of checks-in grades is suitable for this aircraft. (5 marks)
  • c) From your opinion, would you opt to use contracted maintenance for your airline company. State your reasons. (2 marks)