Air New Zealand teams with ST Engineering for drone aircraft inspection

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood June 17, 2019 10:01

Air New Zealand teams with ST Engineering for drone aircraft inspection

Air New Zealand has teamed up with ST Engineering to trial the use of drones to inspect aircraft.

The drone inspection trials take place at a facility next to Changi Airport in Singapore where Air New Zealand aircraft undergo heavy maintenance checks.

ST Engineering has developed an unmanned drone system, known as DroScan, which sees a drone take a planned route around the outside of an aircraft to inspect its surface and produce high definition images.

These images are processed using a software with smart algorithms to detect and classify defects, which aircraft engineers can review and confirm, or carry out further inspection for defects if required.

Air New Zealand chief ground operations officer Carrie Hurihanganui said: “Using a drone to inspect our aircraft will save time, taking around one to two hours, compared to up to six – depending on aircraft type – which means repairs can start sooner if needed, and our aircraft will be able to get back in the air more quickly.

“We’ve trialled using DroScan on a number of our aircraft undergoing maintenance inspections in Singapore now and believe using a drone will also help improve inspection quality.  In future, there may be an opportunity to use the device in New Zealand, for example to conduct ad hoc inspections after lightning strikes.”

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood June 17, 2019 10:01