Causes (and Costs) Behind a Grounded Aircraft

AOG is an aviation term meaning Aircraft on Ground. When an aircraft is in need of immediate AOG services, this means that the plane has been grounded and is unable to reenter rotation until it is approved for flight. While AOG can be caused by a myriad of reasons, including flight scheduling conflicts or weather, sometimes in-service planes can also be grounded for mechanical reasons. When this is the case, commercial aircraft cannot return to service until they’re repaired and inspected. Getting a plane the proper service to get off the ground and back in the air is a top priority.

Reasons for Grounding

The FAA requires routine A and B aircraft inspections, completed every 400–600 hours and 6–8 months, respectively. If an aircraft fails to pass one of these inspections, it is grounded. While typically reasons behind failures are less than alarming (they may be caused by something as small as a malfunctioning sensor), being unprepared for potential disruptions can cause the need for immediate AOG services. As Aviation Week illustrated in its retelling of a delayed wide-body plane at JFK airport, days-long delays were caused by the need for service on a minor part replacement in the aircraft cockpit. Unfortunately, the airline’s MRO did not have the part on hand to service the aircraft, leading to an overnight stay for disgruntled passengers and high costs for the airline.

The Financial Cost of AOG

A grounded aircraft not only causes a huge inconvenience to passengers, it can also be a big financial burden on airlines. Among other things, there are storage fees, the cost of expedited parts and hotel or flight vouchers for passengers. In a 2010 study conducted by the FAA and the National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research, or NEXTOR, flight delays in 2007 were estimated to cost airlines roughly $31 billion. Part of this figure is the high purchasing and leasing cost of planes. When a flight is delayed or grounded for long periods of time, those are days airlines cannot recoup costs through ticket sales.

Kapco Global AOG Services

No one in the aviation industry likes an aircraft on the ground when it should be in the air. From a financial burden on the airline to inconveniencing the customer, it’s a situation everyone wants to avoid. Kapco Global understands that time is of the essence there’s an aircraft out of commission. Because of this, we offer AOG priority service 24 hours a day, every single day of the year. Our priority services include a guaranteed inquiry response within 30 minutes of contact, as well as a maximum 4-hour turnaround time on order fulfillment and shipment of available parts, with an actual average turnaround time of only 2 hours. To learn more, visit our AOG Services page.

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