Navy Maintenance:

The P-3 Aircraft Overhaul Program Can Be Improved

NSIAD-87-157: Published: Jun 26, 1987. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 1987.

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GAO reviewed the Navy's procedures for overhauling P-3 aircraft to determine if it could reduce depot turnaround time.

GAO found that: (1) although the Navy established a program to inspect aircraft before they were due for overhauls, the major commands were not requesting inspections on many aircraft; (2) performing more inspections and scheduling overhauls more efficiently could reduce overhaul costs; (3) lack of adequate central control over aircraft deliveries resulted in aircraft waiting outside overhaul depots; and (4) because depots spread available workers over as many aircraft as they could fit into production lines, overhaul times increased and aircraft availability decreased.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Although DOD stated that it did not agree with this recommendation, it also stated that the Lake City commercial facility is no longer utilized for P-3 depot rework and a third source is not anticipated as a requirement for the near future. Therefore, despite its words to the contrary, DOD has taken action that will implement this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the P-3 aircraft overhaul program, the Secretary of the Navy should examine ways to eliminate excess P-3 aircraft overhaul capacity at the depots, perhaps by closing one of the three P-3 aircraft production lines.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD stated that the depots have embarked upon a series of initiatives aimed at ensuring that aircraft production lines are operated effectively and efficiently. However, none of the initiatives deal with concentrating labor resources on fewer aircraft, and DOD did not indicate it was going to do so.

    Recommendation: To improve the P-3 aircraft overhaul program, the Secretary of the Navy should explore opportunities to reduce overhaul turnaround time by concentrating labor resources at the depots on as few P-3 aircraft as possible.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD stated that the Navy is continuing to refine scheduling procedures and is placing emphasis on the attainment of each depot's goal to begin the rework process within 24 hours of the aircrafts arrival from the operational unit. GAO follow-up work, under code 394243, indicates that scheduling has greatly improved.

    Recommendation: To improve the P-3 aircraft overhaul program, the Secretary of the Navy should direct that the Naval Aviation Logistics Center assume a more active role in coordinating actual deliveries of P-3 aircraft for overhaul so that each aircraft can be scheduled on a specific date to coincide with a depot's ability to begin work on that aircraft.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Policy guidance on OPNAVINST 3110.11 that pertains to when an inspection exception is authorized has been clarified.

    Recommendation: To improve the P-3 aircraft overhaul program, the Secretary of the Navy should require that all P-3 aircraft due for overhaul be inspected under the Aircraft Service Period Adjustment (ASPA) Program unless an inspection exemption is specifically authorized.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD stated that management initiatives will help ensure that all aircraft production lines are operated effectively and efficiently, including turnaround-time reductions, where possible and practical.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should determine the feasibility of implementing the above recommendations on other aircraft. The P-3 aircraft has one of the shortest overhaul turnaround times among Navy aircraft and any procedural changes to reduce that time could have applicability to other aircraft.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

 

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