Date of Award

Spring 2023

Access Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation Business Administration

Committee Chair

Michael Williams

Committee Advisor

Kenneth Byrnes

First Committee Member

Vitaly Guzhva

Second Committee Member

John Longshore

College Dean

Shanan Gibson


This research involved examining the economic useful life of commercial aircraft and the impact of maintenance and economic variables on the viability and longevity of the asset. The data sample consisted of the entire population of Boeing commercial aircraft produced between 1956 and 2021. The objective was to determine the effect of both maintenance and economic variables on the longevity and usefulness of commercial aircraft. As manufacturers work with issues such as service life, economic life, safety, and critical design features, those in the aviation community focus on the operational side of the equation––how long can one operate the asset, and at what point is it no longer effective to continue investing into the asset? The research presents an extensive review of the maintenance and technological advances in commercial aircraft over the last 60 years and an investigation of various aspects of the economic useful life concept in both use and application from an appraisal and industry perspective. The research focus is on the actual age at which an asset is removed from operational service and the underlying causes of such a decision.