Service Your Furnace and Change the Batteries in Your Smoke Alarm
As a homeowner, I find it’s easy to get excited about installing new backsplash or replacing an appliance with one that has more bells and whistles. I admit, I’m not as enthusiastic when I have to service my furnace or upgrade the electrical box. Still, I understand that this basic maintenance is actually what sustains the value of my home and preserves its long-term health.
The same is true in our national airspace system. The spotlight tends to shine on the new capabilities we’re adding in the field. But the day-to-day operation of our system is buttressed by our impressive program of both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and facility sustainment activities that help prevent equipment failure and facility decline.
Our Technical Operations team performed more than 7.5 million equipment and software maintenance actions in fiscal year 2019! The number is pretty astonishing given that those actions included preventive maintenance, corrective maintenance and modifications.
With over 74,000 pieces of equipment at more than 10,000 different facilities -- and limited funds -- it’s a continual challenge to determine how to prioritize our maintenance resources to extend the usable service life of critical elements of our national airspace system.
But we’ve worked hard to reduce the potential of unplanned outages, degradations and associated risks of our facilities and equipment.
One way we’ve done that is through enhancements to our Operational Risk Management (ORM) efforts, when we coordinate with stakeholders and plan ahead to reduce risk associated with scheduled NAS maintenance actions. As a result, last year we documented about 1,200 aircraft delays associated with equipment outages – which amounts to a 0.016 percent delay rate. And we’re trying to do even better.
We know we don’t have enough funding to erase our backlog of facility maintenance needs, but I know our Tech Ops team is working to maximize the return on the investment we can make in our air traffic buildings, access roads, power systems, and communications, radar, weather and surveillance equipment.