Improving Readiness in Commercial and Military Aviation through Theory of Constraints (TOC)

Nov 9, 2021 | Airlift, Airfreight, DTJ Online, Fall Meeting, Fall Meeting 2021 Videos

Moderator: Andrew E. Busch, Lt Gen (ret) US Air Force, Goldratt Consulting

Instructors: David Garrison, Senior Vice President, Delta Air Lines, Col (ret) Michael O’Connor, former 92nd Maintenance Group Commander, Fairchild Air Force Base, Amanda Bangs, Logistics Operations, Defense Logistics Agency

Readiness is at the core of successful commercial and military Aviation performance. Having the right aircraft, crew, gate, baggage, cargo, fuel, spare parts, ground crew, gate agents, etc. ready at the time of departure is at the core of successful airline performance. Similarly, having mission-capable aircraft, combat mission-ready crew, spare parts, aviation support equipment, etc. ready for a mission is at the core of US Air Force operations.

Delta Air Lines and SkyWest Airlines have used the Theory of Constraints (TOC) to improve performance significantly. Delta Air Lines reduced its maintenance cancellations from over 5000 in 2010 to 125 days without any cancellations in 2018. SkyWest Airlines reduced spare parts shortage by 22% and achieved 94% spare parts service levels across all locations.

The US Air Force also applied TOC in Flightline maintenance and experienced a step-change in aircraft availability. For example, the Fairchild Maintenance Group exposed an additional 1500+ days of aircraft availability within just a year. Similarly, the Defense Logistics Agency has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in spare parts purchases and broadened the range of parts it can purchase through constraints-based ordering practices.

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