Quality Processes in Civil Aviation

In this age of globalization, there has been an ever increasing demand from all quarters to explore every corner of the world. To make the ends meet, air travel has emerged as the most vital and efficient means, both in terms of the distance and time. Consequently, the world has seen a rapid surge in the sphere of aviation arena during the last century, right from the documented first flight of the Wright brothers.

With the large-scale uptrend in the aviation industry along with the civil aircraft fleet, strict deadlines and cut-throat competition due to commercialization, the need was felt to put in place, a more systematic approach towards developing and implementing rigorous safety and quality procedures for aviation.

These efforts across the continents, has led to the creation and adaptation of numerous international standards on civil aviation. To keep up with these vast numbers of standard practices, in turn, is a huge task within itself to be managed. Just as how sound background maintenance of the fleet serves as the backbone of healthy aircraft operation, similarly pro-active auditing practices promote quality standards that serve as a benchmark in aviation.

In other words, to fulfil the requirements of continued airworthiness, it is mandatory that the quality control activities related to the maintenance and the maintenance management processes are effective and fool-proof, thereby meeting the targeted objectives of operational and business interests, deadlines and at the same time without jeopardising the safety of valuable life and property. This demands stringent implementation of the internal audit processes and associated procedures along with the fact that the laid down standards and the documented policies are put into practice through proper discharge of responsibilities.

These functions ensure consistency within an organization through a process driven approach that in turn ensures consistency in its products and services. For example, rather large parts of the processes we carry out are actually Quality Control elements, viz. validating documents are QC, validating AD or SB status are QC, configuration control is QC. While trying to manage the worthiness of a given procedure, we may choose to include a definite element of Quality Check process as a functional part of the process delivery. The entire focus is to have a structured and repeatable activity. On the other hand, if we heap up the audit process, it may seem good to us, but essentially it may not be a better approach, thus providing less value.

Ramco Aviation Software provides a top-notch solution to the aviation maintenance and engineering industry to manage and liaise all their processes efficiently. This ERP based application ensure acute control on the intra and inter-department activities involving maintenance, operations, finance, stores and inventory, documentation, regulatory requirements, etc. all integrated into a single system.

One of the many modules of business processes in Ramco Aviation Software is Audit Management.

On a brief note, the Quality Audit functions oversee the fundamental activities of auditing such as development of audit programs and audit checklists, maintaining audit schedules, preparing factual reports of the audit findings, effective corrective actions and preventive actions to prevent recurrence of deficiencies, reporting methods based on objectives, effective follow-up of the audit findings and appropriate mechanisms for close-out, etc., among others.

By conducting routine quality checks based on the well-established standards, root causes of the deficiencies are analyzed and the weak areas in the system are identified. This coupled with a pro-active follow-up of the findings for timely closure improves the overall efficiency of the system rather than providing a temporary quick fix for an apparent defect without investigating the problem lying underneath. Whereas the latter leads to a situation that give rise to recurring defects, and in most cases, propagation of the deficiencies across systems, eventually collapsing the entire system. Adherence to the former greatly reduces the dependency on tedious manual labour, the scope of human error and saves time resulting in enhanced satisfaction from both the customer and the regulatory authorities. The disciplined diagnosis of the non-conformities guarantees sustainability by providing greater room for self-improvement.

To ensure that the audit schedules and thereby the objectives and of the audit are not over-looked, automated e-mail alerts for all upcoming audit functions are issued and dispatched to the concerned authorities/staff of the audit team. The reports are made available in electronic format acceptable to varied regulatory requirements across the globe.

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