American Airlines outfits aircraft technicians with ruggedized technology; wireless technology adds multifunctional tool to maintenance chest

FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 2, 2004 -- Whether at the gate, in the belly of an aircraft or on the tarmac, American Airlines aircraft technicians are now equipped with ruggedized, wireless technology solutions that put up-to-the-minute information at their fingertips. These new technology solutions bring information once located in various manuals and documents on hard-wired PCs direct to American's technicians in the field via American's new proprietary Web application, eLineMaintenance.

"At American, we know that equipping our employees with cutting-edge technology solutions, empowers them to provide the best possible service to our passengers," said Monte Ford, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at American Airlines. "The availability of this ruggedized hardware that is right for our environment, coupled with the internal development of an efficient application, is allowing our aircraft technicians and ground team to be better informed and connected. Regardless of where they need to be to get the job done, this solution will add value to our operation."

"When our ground team is more efficient, our passengers benefit, and as a result our aircraft technicians are embracing this technology," said Danny Martinez, American's Vice President of Maintenance and Engineering Line- Maintenance. "Having every single piece of the airplane's manuals, log-books and the latest information from vendors and regulatory agencies available at the technicians' fingertips gives our team immediate, accurate access to critical information while servicing our fleet."

Today, aircraft technicians can access work orders on their ruggedized laptop PCs directly from the ramp, track progress and maintain constant communication with other team members. In the past, a trip to the ready-rooms was required to access information on a shared desktop computer or with hard- copy manuals.

"It's not just a laptop, it's an assistant," said Jose Liscano, an American Airlines aircraft technician at Miami International Airport. "It provides the information I need to troubleshoot any problem on the aircraft, right at the aircraft."

eLineMaintenance was developed by American Airlines Maintenance & Engineering (M&E) and Information Technology Services (ITS) teams. American's M&E team at Miami International Airport beta-tested this new technology solution, and was the first location to deploy the rugged notebooks. Today, eLineMaintenance is being deployed throughout all of American Airline's M&E operations in the United States and the rollout will continue during the rest of the year.

"Our line maintenance team pulled together with our development team, contributing, testing and implementing an application for technology that has yielded a winning solution," added Ford. "Without the interaction of our teams, we would not have been able to develop such a logical and useful tool."

The rugged, wireless hardware solution was chosen because of its ability to withstand the day-to-day lifestyle of an aircraft technician, who may be dealing with weather or other adverse conditions. The solution takes advantage of Sprint's 3G wireless network to link ground personnel to the back-end infrastructure via a constant, secure and reliable connection. This uninterrupted connection to data can reduce maintenance-related delay time.

American Airlines is the world's largest carrier. American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection(R) regional carriers serve more than 250 cities in over 40 countries with almost 4,200 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,000 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site,, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld(TM) Alliance.

SOURCE American Airlines

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