Airlines for America and SAE International Present 16th Annual Nondestructive Testing Innovation Award Honoring Lufthansa Technik

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2018 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, and SAE International, the premier knowledge source for mobility engineering, this week jointly presented the 16th annual Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Innovation Award at A4A’s annual NDT Forum to Karsten Kaiser of Lufthansa Technik and Michael Ernst of subsidiary for furthering the science and efficacy of nondestructive testing.

Lufthansa Technik developed an automated inspection procedure for engine components (AutoInspect), and in 2016 the company added an automated process chain for the repair of engine components (AutoRep). The results of these two successful research and development projects were subsequently linked and transferred to operative use. In mid-2018, the automated inspection and repair procedures were together in a single process chain, reducing process time from nearly seven hours to four hours per component inspection.

“We congratulate this year’s winning team for their commitment to utilizing cutting-edge technology and innovation to improve and automate inspection systems for engine components,” said A4A’s vice president of safety and operations, Paul McGraw. “This work further strengthens the U.S. airline industry’s world-class safety record through all phases of flight to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience for the 2.3 million customers who fly on U.S. airlines every day.”

A4A’s NDT Forum is marking its 61st year in Seattle, Washington, from Sept. 17-20, where industry leaders met to discuss current trends, issues and successes in NDT methodologies. Participants attending included equipment designers; technicians; regulatory authorities; original equipment manufacturers (OEMs); maintenance, repair and overhaul (MROs); and airline personnel. The event features a number of presentations on achievements and lessons learned about technologies that help ensure the life and safety of aircraft structures by detecting defects well before they can be seen or cause a failure. This year’s topics showcased methodologies associated with composite structures, additive manufacturing and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM).


Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.4 million passengers and more than 58,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.

A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor, Congress, the Administration and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

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