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Paperless Aircraft Operations

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Paperless Aircraft Operations (PAO) is an IATA initiative to support the airlines in identifying areas and solutions for a more efficient aircraft operation in all aspects that involve technical operations. These operations include aircraft maintenance activity, parts supply chain and logistics, as well as the transfer of aircraft assets.
PAO is an initiative that started in 2011, following the implementation of other IATA Simplifying the Business initiatives such as e-ticketing, RFID in baggage handling, e-Air Waybill (e-AWB), and Cargo RFID.​​​​​

​PAO vision and mission

Taking-off into the second hundred years of commercial flight, airlines must embrace the paperless operation standards of an ever increasing fleet performance delivered by e-enabled aircraft. The vision is to explore efficiencies and provide implementation guidelines to airlines in the area of technical operations.

With innovative technologies and improved processes, the aircraft should be able to “talk” to the operator about its history, airworthiness, technical condition and costs. Proficiency in this e-enabled language is the essential competitive advantage in building the airlines’ future.

PAO implementation

The series of airline technical operations’ benefits brought by the transition to paperless operations were assessed both in terms of their potential impact and their immediacy. This generated a series of priority projects which IATA initiated or actively embarked on in the fields listed below (please note: the listing order is not intended to suggest any priority ranking of the areas included): 

  • Auto-ID / RFID aircraft parts tracking and as alternative means of compliance
  • Digital signature in technical operations 
  • Electronic support of airworthiness compliance
  • Electronic maintenance record keeping
  • Electronic aircraft lease transfers
  • IATA standardized maintenance agreements
  • Aircraft leasing best practices for delivery / re-delivery and maintenance reserves
  • Electronic regulatory documents (XML FAA 8130-3 / EASA Form 1 / TCCA Form 1 and other)

Paperless Aircraft Operations Conference and Think Tank

The Paperless Aircraft Operations’ Think Tank elaborates on the vision of the airline technical operations’ processes and defines the most relevant focal areas for improvement and innovation. More on the Paperless Aircraft Operations Think Tank.

Registration to 3rd IATA Paperless Aircraft Operations and RFID Conference​ in November 15-17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington, US is now open.​


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