The long term effects of an aging fleet on operational availability and cost: evidence from the U.S. Coast Guard
Lavin, Christopher W.
McNab, Robert M.
Sullivan, Ryan S.
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This paper empirically examines whether the aging of a ﬂeet affects operational availability and operating cost using a unique data-set on the 117 47-foot Motor Lifeboats (MLBs) of the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Procured from 1997 to 2003, the 47-foot MLB is the standard lifeboat of the USCG and all 117 MLBs remain in service. The aging of the MLB ﬂeet has resulted in higher annual operating costs and lower operational availability, although the nature of this relationship remains unclear. Our estimation strategy utilizes an error components esti- mator to examine these issues. We employ three variants of the dependent variables (i.e. the standard logarithmic transformation as is most commonly seen in the literature, inverse hyperbolic sine [IHS], and level outcomes). The point estimates from the standard logarithmic model ﬁnds operational availability for the MLBs decreases at a rate between 0.83 and 1.8% per year and cost increases at a rate between 0.33 and 7.81% per year. Similar effects are shown with the IHS and level outcome speciﬁcations. In terms of nonlinearity effects, we ﬁnd the most pronounced changes in operational availability and cost occur for MLBs aged 15 years or more (in comparison to younger MLBs).
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10242694.2016.1192833
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