Suppose a flight has a bird strike which requires the radome to be replaced. The aircraft is grounded at Chennai (MAA), India. What is the process of its replacement? Where will the new randome come from? Who will conduct the repair? The aircraft is A320 neo.

Line maintenance facility is available at MAA but no base maintenance. Base maintenance facility/MRO/workshop available at BLR (350km) and HYD (650km). Will the airline decide to fly it there or bring radome/spare parts to MAA?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ An answer here would require knowledge of where the un-named airline has replacement radomes available, which is probably beyond general internet knowledge. Likewise, decision makers at the airline can choose among options like using own personnel, contract personnel, Airbus mechanics (if things are complicated enough), or flying it to someplace with heavy maintenance available, but they'd be working from knowledge like the extent of the damage (not given in the post) and availability of personnel (not generally knowable across the internet). $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Mar 10 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


I have experience in this area (not with Airbus). The airline will do whatever is (1) fastest and/or (2) cheapest.

If the airplane can be ferried, say by applying speed tape over the damage and allowing a ferry flight with, say, a speed/weather limitation to BLR/HYD, under an Airbus tech support disposition, it will probably do that, and ferry the plane to BLR or HYD, whichever base has a radome.

The airline will contact Airbus's 24/7 tech support with the details of the damage with a request for evaluation for feasibility to ferry, and if so, a repair authorization document signed by an Airbus engineer with detailed instructions (if it's just a crack with maybe a little deformation, that might work; if it's a gaping hole, probably not).

If the airplane can't be ferried, the airline will either contract with a 3rd party organization on site at MAA, or send its own maintenance team to MAA and ship a spare radome there to meet the team.

The radome will come from the airline's own spares inventory if it has one in stock, or it will order one AOG (Aircraft On Ground) from Airbus Spares, who will ship a unit from the nearest spares depot in the Airbus spares network via whatever shipper it uses for AOG spares (like DHL or whoever).

If the airline has a spare radome on hand and it has other flights going to MAA, and there is room in a cargo hold of one of them, it might send it along that way with the repair crew. Or, if that doesn't work and time is critical, it might even charter an airplane that can haul its spare radome and crew to MAA.

You do what you have to do, and whether you prioritize cost or speed will determine the actions you take, and that will depend on how long you can afford to have the plane grounded. For airlines that don't keep spare dispatchable aircraft, speed is normally of the essence because of the cost of follow-on cancelled flights, so they will do whatever it takes to get the plane back in the air ASAP.


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