Paperless aircraft maintenance - Risks, rewards and solutions

How to move from paper to digital in the aviation industry?

Paper and pen is still very much common practice in many parts of the aviation world.

Paper waste, sustainability and digital transformation - A powerful trinity

In an age where climate change becomes an increasingly alarming challenge for the world to face, the aviation industry encounters the urgent need to reduce its carbon footprint. Talks of sustainable airline fuel and more efficient aircraft engines take the spotlight when it comes to where the greatest improvements can be made, but there are some less obvious aspects of maintaining an airline where steps towards sustainability can be taken. One such aspect is paper waste.

With digital transformation shaping a new vision for the aviation industry, the elimination of paper waste is a simple yet effective way to go green.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation has become a buzzword within many industries and for a reason. But what does it mean in the first place?

Digital transformation is an ongoing process.

According to Quixy it is defined as "the procedure of using technology to change and drastically improve how businesses operate. It involves integrating digital technology into all business areas, including strategy, operations, marketing, and customer service."

Digital transformation thus drastically improves the way businesses operate. For many, however, getting started seems to be the biggest hindrance. The processes can feel overwhelming and its hard to know where to put in the efforts and where to begin. In 2024 a digital strategy is a must have, and there might actually be a time where its too late to get going.

There are countless examples of companies that ignored the possibilities of digitalisation and stayed in their lane, because things have always worked like this. One of the challenges of the modern world is the ruthless pace in which large companies can be disrupted into bankruptcy in a matter of years.

One of the most infamous examples is the Kodak bankruptcy. Once the leader in photography it failed to innovate in a time of digital photography and paid the price for it. Other examples include Blockbuster video rental that lost out to Netflix due to missing out on the customer demand to stream movies instead of renting.

Thus, if digital transformation is postponed it might have severe consequences.

How to start moving toward paperless aircraft maintenance?


Paper Waste

In an aircraft’s day-to-day routine, work orders must be signed in order for maintenance tasks to be completed in a coherent manner. Work orders are used to specify tasks which must be completed, keep tabs maintenance progress, and track billable hours for engineers and managers. These pieces of paperwork, often spanning over a hundred pages, account for loads of paper waste in the aviation industry, especially since most work orders are single-use and become of little value to the aircraft once filled.

However, work orders are necessary to comply with MRO standards. There are regulatory, legal, and financial records that must be kept in order to maintain safety and fairness within the aviation industry. Work orders always have and always will be part of the aviation industry’s day-to-day process.

This is also just one source of paper waste in the aviation industry. Flight plans, aircraft blueprints, tickets, and much more account for areas where paper waste can be eliminated.

Digital Transformation in the Aviation Industry

With digital transformation shaping the aviation industry, opting for digital records over paper ones seems like a no-brainer. Not only does switching to software help eliminate paper waste, but it can also increase the efficiency of an airline’s operations.

One of the primary concerns of switching over to a paperless system is security. When airlines communicate work orders and other sensitive pieces of information via electronic transmissions via electronic signals, the risk of data leaks increases. While this complicates matters for airlines wishing to go green, advancements in blockchain and other encryption technologies has turned the idea of going paperless into a viable one. As encryption technology continues to advance, the digitalization of aviation logs will only become more secure.

Digital solutions for paperless aircraft maintenance

Electronic TechLog

Techlog from Trustflight

Electronic TechLog replaces paper technical log. It helps to optimize the logbook data management, reduces expensive paperlog, and eliminates any transcription and data handling errors. Electronic TechLog solutions ensure aircraft data are accurate and available in real-time wherever it is needed. There are several companies producing these, among them Bytron and Trustflight. - Assignment
661517ccb93c9e11dc5eae08_what (1) - Assignment

Assignment is a new and groundbreaking software that increases staff utilisation and improves fleet availability through artificial intelligence and clean easy to understand interface. Assignment combines three separate modules currently used in maintenance planning - Flight operations, M&E and HR, into one easy interface enabling full visibility over your operations.

Assignment decreases manual, repetitive tasks, so that you can focus on what matters, cost efficient, reliable and modern maintenance.

Assignment minimises paper work and moves you swiftly towards massive cost savings by utilising your staff much more intelligently. Instead of manual, time-consuming and inefficient resource allocation. Assignment leverages technology to ensure that your technical staff is utilised fully before recruiting new staff. Read this for a full breakdown of Assignment and its key features.

Aviation data as an exchange - Aviadex
66151bcc3652295f355112aa_Screenshot 2024-04-09 at 13_43_05 helps OEM's, MRO's and Airlines eliminating manual data entry. is a Data Exchange and Integration Service for all aviation industry operators. Built and operated based on years of system integration and data exchange expertise within aerospace industry, it enables intelligent data exchange between the collaborating parties in the aviation industry.

Regardless if you are OEM, Airline or an MRO, streamlines data exchange, allowing collaborators to integrate once and choose which data is shared, and to whom. It eliminates manual data entry work and complexity for users.

Aviadex is already utilised by many companies and you can read more about its uses in this Case Study for Condor.

Digital tool management software -
66151e4529c6d116b606b8cb_Screenshot 2024-04-09 at 13_53_13 keeps digital track of all of your tools in maintenance.

Another software that can be used to eliminate paper waste is QOCO’s digital tooling software. It is developed to help airlines and MROs digitize the process of booking, returning, and tracking tools needed for aircraft maintenance and repairs. It’s a secure platform which keeps the information of its users and activities safe from theft and tampering.

In addition to increased security, makes the maintenance process for aircraft simpler and more efficient. One such benefit of using the platform is the ability to incorporate predictive maintenance into an aircraft, which reduces waste not only related to paper, but for everything else concerning maintenance, from man-hours to parts acquisition.

As digitalisation continues to transform the world of aviation, going down the paperless route seems more and more feasible. Along with reducing their carbon footprint, airlines can save on time and money that otherwise would have gone to waste.

With countless other industries having already made the leap towards full digitalisation, it only makes sense that the aviation industry should follow suit. Read more about Maintenance 4.0.


I hope with this article you have gained some insight on the value of digitalising your operations. The rewards are there for the taking and the risks increase day by day when the world moves forward.

Are you ready? We are here to help. Book a demo below and lets start your digitalisation journey!

image of blog Andy Graham

Request a personalised demo

By requesting a demo you are taking the first steps towards a more cost efficient and future proof business.

We will contact you shortly to set up a call and present our solutions. The demo takes around 30 minutes and will display all the ways you can eliminate waste in processes and how you can simplify everything from tooling management to data exchange.

Our team of highly experienced aviation industry professionals main task is to help MRO's, Operators and OEM's to thrive. 

Be sure not to miss out on the latest technologies. Book a demo today! 




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