Aircraft Maintenance:

Potential Shortage in National Aircraft Repair Capacity

RCED-91-14: Published: Oct 31, 1990. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed various aspects of the U.S. aircraft repair station industry, focusing on the: (1) reasons for recent increases in maintenance demand; (2) extent to which the industry's capacity is being used; and (3) factors affecting future demand for and supply of airline and independent repair station services.

GAO found that: (1) airline and independent aircraft repair stations were operating near capacity and were expanding to meet new demand for repair services; (2) airlines' use of independent repair stations varied, but many contracted for a large proportion of repairs and maintenance with other airlines or independent repair stations; (3) recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulatory changes to ensure the safety of aging aircraft greatly increased short-term demand for repair station services; (4) macroeconomic conditions, air carrier expansions, legislative and FAA regulatory changes, resource availability, cost and price changes, and other factors could affect long-term demand and supply of repair station services; and (5) airframe repair capacity may fall short of demand.