The Costs of Aging Aircraft: Insights from Commercial Aviation
Aging aircraft are a primary concern to the Air Force. Understanding the impact age has on maintenance costs is critical to 3repair versus replace4 decisions. Air Force data, however, provide a limited view of the true age effect. The commercial sector keeps uniquely different data on maintenance costs and the Department of Transportation collects these data from U.S. airlines. These annual fleet data, combined with age information from the Boeing Company, provide a unique view of the cost to maintain commercial fleets. These data suggest that on average, fleet maintenance costs continue to increase as they age, but the rate of increase slows over time. Additionally, the data suggest that the type of aircraft and the airline of operation do not have a significant impact on the age effect. However, the age effect is significantly different at various periods of a fleet2s life. Boeing uses 3maturity curves,4 derived from years of manufacturing experience, to describe how maintenance costs change as aircraft age. The analysis in this dissertation provides a unique perspective of these maturity curves by utilizing alternative models, including fixed effect regression.
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Diagram 1 Three Research Questions are Sequential
1 Summary of Literature Related to Aging Aircraft
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_cons AF's age categories aging aircraft Aging period air_dum_2 aircraft age aircraft type fixed airline fixed effects average age Average Fleet Age Boeing Boeing Corporation commercial airlines Conf cost per flight decrease dependent variable df MS Number dissertation dum_3 effects of age estimated age effects estimated model F-statistic Figure fixed effects model flight hour Form 41 data increase indicator variable Matthew Dixon Mature period maturity curves Number of obs obs F operating overhead panel data Prob problem Pyles RAND reg logtotperflthr age regression trees repair versus replace Residual retired second D-check selection bias short _ fleets short-lived fleets significant Source SS df specific tail numbers total maintenance costs type fixed effects type of aircraft type type type type_ type_dum_17 type_dum_18 type_dum_l9 type_dum_18 type_dum_l9 type_dum_20 type_dum_2 type_dum_3 type_dum_3 dropped type_dum_32 type_dum_33 type_dum_34 type_dum_9 type_dum_10 type_dum_l9 type_dum_20 type_dum_21 type_dum_ll type_dum_12 type_dum_13 versus replace decisions warranty warranty period yl985 dropped