Nippon Cargo Airlines has submitted an outline of submitted preventive measures to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) in response to a business improvement order it received in July following a number of issues that caused aircraft to be grounded and flight suspended.

In the outline, the airline identifies the main causal factors as insufficient countermeasures to the causal background in the maintenance department and a shortage of support. The department has had to ramp up to multi-model maintenance when the 747-8F was added to the 747-400 fleet in succession from 2012, as well as the 1.6 times increase in the number of aircraft operated without a corresponding increase personnel in the maintenance division, which has been deemed to be insufficient. “Against the background of this increase in business volume, the management and staff departments of the maintenance division became unable to provide adequate systematic support to the actual maintenance operational division, creating an environment in which the maintenance operational division can make own decisions and interpretations as well as opinions could not be expressed to persons in charge with long experience and much knowledge, which led, as a result, falsification of the maintenance records and concealment,” says the airline’s response to MLIT.

Nippon Cargo Airlines has stated that it has introduced measures to deal with background factors in the maintenance department and that the size of flight operations will be revised in accordance with the number of personnel, including consideration of the adoption of only one model for B747-8F aircraft, while more staff have been added to the department: five personnel support from All Nippon Airlines (ANA) were received in April 2018 to strengthen the maintenance staff department and the maintenance operational division, and from September 1, 2018, the cargo airline will receive additional three personnel support from ANA to strengthen the management of the quality assurance, technical, and operational divisions, thereby strengthening the structure of the entire maintenance group.

Further plans to enhance training and additional countermeasures were also outline in the response, here: