The Importance of eSignature In Aviation

An eSignature is an acceptable method of compliance not only for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but for all branches of the United States Federal Government and regulatory bodies around the world. The acceptance of the eSignature coupled with the operational adoption of technology and web-based applications has seen a surge in opportunities for a more streamlined and efficient workflow.

 

Flightdocs software open on computer near aircraft

This approach to workflow completion and compliance allows many organizations to utilize it in such a way that increases accountability and oversite, while at the same time decreases the intrusion into a technician’s time. The primary way that this occurs is through the reduction of data redundancy. When you do not have to duplicate your work efforts time and time again, you save time not only on the data entry but also measures that allow for data correction.

Common Errors With Data Redundancy

As mentioned, duplicating work efforts comes with it’s set of challenges. Here are the two most common types of errors are transcription and transposition.

  • Transcription errors are when the data is entered incorrectly such as typos, repetition of words or phrases, and deletion or omission of words. Fortunately, we have spell check, however, traditional spell check doesn’t like many of the technical terms used in aviation, and sometimes a simple letter change can change the whole word.
  • Transposition errors are what happens when you get your numbers mixed up. Did that result in you overflying? Did you schedule maintenance earlier than is prudent? Did you miss a critical inspection?

Reducing Maintenance Data Error With Automation

Two of the most straightforward ways to reduce Error Introduction is to reduce data redundancy and to incorporate Operational Automation.

In most operations, there are many positions where data redundancy is a way of life. People must fill out the same paperwork multiple times, entering and re-entering the same data at different times in multiple places repeatedly. Every time you re-enter data into a new place, you introduce the opportunity for error. Many operations have incorporated templates to reduce the amount of typing, which reduces the number of opportunities for error introduction. The templates help, however when you type the same thing over and over, you now must remember everywhere you entered that data and in the case an error was introduced, you now must find each entry and verify the accuracy. What if you miss one? What if you messed up in a different way on each entry? Utilizing copy and paste helps, but that doesn’t always work depending on the software you are using and what if you copy and paste the error over and over?

How Modern Maintenance Technology Can Help

Use systems and services that reduce data entry redundancy, streamline your operations, allow you to enter the data in one place and disseminate across multiple usages. This singular location for data entry provides the following benefits:

  • Allows effective implementation of eSignature
  • Simplifies quality checks and corrects errors
  • Secures historical record
  • Eliminates the need for paper and space to store boxes and boxes of records – saving you thousands in operational costs.

Why Opt For An e-Signature?

The easiest answer is because you can! The FAA, EASA, Transport Canada, along with a host of other regulatory authorities allow it and have issued documentation on how to implement and utilize in your operations. The regulatory bodies along with service providers have worked to come up with systems and processes that are not only effective in the authentication of the user, but also streamline the work flow.

A requirement of an effective eSignature implementation is the ability to preserve the “paper” trail in a digital world. To implement the eSignature and be compliant there must be a trail, a historical record of what was done, who signed it, and in what manner. Every time something is signed off, the record must stand in that same state, errors and all. You must have the paper trail. With eSignature, you have the historical data and the paper trail. However, this time you don’t have to redo every piece of paper to correct an error. Depending on your provider, you should be able to error correct an entry within 10 minutes or less, saving you time, money, headache, and reducing the chances of introducing new errors through redundant work.

How To Utilize An eSignature Within Your Operations

The best way is to find a partner who has the technology and has already developed the tools. Ensuring that the tools not only meet the regulatory requirements but also are in step with the latest technological advances and standards for eSignature deployment.

Think about using the eSignature for your logbook entries, checklists, work orders – anything in your operations where it is important to know who did the work and is confirming it was done correctly. Use the eSignature for internal compliance, for program compliance such as your SMS programs, maybe ISBAO, ARGUS. Think about where could you utilize this tool to streamline your operations and effectively document your workflow.

The possibilities for implementation are endless, and the value-added to your workday by streamlining the paperwork associated with an effective aviation operation, is priceless.

For more information on eSignature, watch this on-demand webinar!

About the Author: ATP

ATP is the leading provider of maintenance tracking, flight operations, inventory management, repetitive defect analysis, and troubleshooting software. The company’s applications help reduce operating costs, improve aircraft reliability, and supports technical knowledge sharing and collaboration within the business aviation, military/defense, commercial aviation, and OEM industries.

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