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FOCUS ON MRO - June 26, 2019
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Atlantic Aviation SNA

Orange County Approves GA Restructuring at SNA

California’s Orange County Board of Supervisors yesterday unanimously approved major alterations to the general aviation infrastructure at John Wayne Airport (SNA). The proposal put forward by Supervisor Michelle Steel will redefine the acreage designated for GA operations and reduce the space available for larger business jets.

The airport is currently served by two full-service FBOs—Atlantic Aviation and ACI Jet, the latter of which occupies facilities on both sides of the airport. Both companies are operating on month-to-month leases. The approved proposal calls for the airport to issue an RFP for the two plots now occupied by ACI, which will exist as two separate FBOs, while the 20.5-acre plot currently occupied by Atlantic Aviation will be leveled and designated for small GA use only.

Medium and large-cabin business jets, which previously had the run of the more than 60 acres of GA space, will be restricted to the 25.6-acre footprints of the two full-service FBOs. According to Steel, the move is intended to preserve small general aviation at the airport.

The RFP will also invite interested FBO operators to negotiate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to establish an international GA facility in their proposed FBO, which will allow private flights to use SNA as an entry point. According to an airport spokesperson, there is no time frame yet for the issuance of the RFP.


StandardAero Reveals Five-year Growth Ambition

Having doubled annual revenues and expanded its business dramatically over the past five years by combining organic growth with the new work brought by four strategic acquisitions, StandardAero aims to double its size and revenues again in the next five years.

Founded in 1911 and now owned by The Carlyle Group, Scottsdale, Arizona-headquartered StandardAero has grown in the past five years to become “one of the largest, if not the largest, independent jet-engine maintenance companies on the planet,” CEO Russell Ford told AIN. “The company is much larger, broader, and greater in scope and capacity than it ever has been in the last 100 years.”

During the past five years, StandardAero has added 23 primary repair and manufacturing facilities to broaden its presence to 37 facilities in 10 countries on five continents. It has boosted its employee base from 3,500 people to more than 6,000 and increased from 25 to 41 the number of turbine engine families it services.

Now, “my goal is to double the size of the company again in the next five years,” said Ford. He intends to do so by adding more engine families to StandardAero’s repair portfolio; by continuing to expand its business with existing customers; and by pursuing additional corporate acquisitions to boost its ability to offer engine and component MRO turnaround times shorter than its competitors can achieve.

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EASA Opinion Seeks Runway Incursion Safeguards

After considering 1,785 comments to a December 2018 notice of proposed amendment (NPA) aimed at improving runway safety, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a formal opinion calling for a range of measures to prevent runway incursions by aircraft, vehicles, and people.

The next step toward issuing a final rule, the formal opinion covers the operation of vehicles at airports, including the authorization of drivers, and the conformance of vehicles operating in maneuvering areas. Linked to this is also the proposal for a new requirement on communications between vehicles and ground control facilities, as well as a proposal for the control of pedestrians on aircraft movement areas.

In addition, the opinion proposes all the necessary requirements to support the application of new runway surface condition assessment and reporting standards that will be applicable worldwide by November 2020. Moreover, new requirements are introduced regarding notam origination, airport maintenance and snow removal plans, aircraft towing and FOD control, as well as changes to existing requirements related to surface movement guidance and control systems. The agency expects to issue a final rule in the second quarter of next year.

EASA had received comments to the NPA from national aviation authorities, airport operators and airport operators’ associations, aircraft manufacturers and operators, air traffic control providers and aviation professional organizations.


Aviation Orgs Urge FAA To Revamp Mx School Proposal

Fourteen aviation groups are appealing to the FAA to take a less prescriptive approach as it updates standards for aviation maintenance technician schools under Part 147. Instead, the groups pushed for an outcomes-based approach in their jointly submitted comments to a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) that was released in April.

The agency originally issued a proposed rulemaking in 2015, saying current regulations and requirements are outdated and do not meet industry needs. After reviewing the initial comments, the FAA followed with the SNPRM to incorporate two changes requested by industry: to provide the option of competency-based training and satellite training locations.

But in the joint comments, industry groups are asking the agency to go further, including reconsidering prescriptive terms in the SNPRM. They further encouraged simplification of dual enrollment programs and deference to the Department of Education requirements on issues involving quality of education.

“Fixing 147 is an industry imperative. Handicapping our schools burdens both graduates and employers,” they said. “Give us the flexible and dynamic rule needed to ensure we can educate the future workforce by the best means necessary.”

The joint comments—signed by ARSA, AOPA, NATA, and NBAA, among others—endorsed comments previously filed by the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), which represents aviation maintenance technician schools.

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Jet Linx Extends Reach into Northeast with Boston Base

Aircraft management, charter, and jet card provider Jet Linx is continuing its rapid expansion with the grand opening of a private terminal at Boston’s Hanscom Field (BED). Held late last week, the festivities drew 125 guests and aircraft on display from Bombardier, Embraer, Falcon, Gulfstream, and Textron Aviation.

Led by base president Brad Rosse, the Jet Linx terminal houses an executive lounge, private conference room, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a fully stocked kitchenette. Joining the team with Rosse are two native Bostonian managing partners: Samuel Byrne, managing partner and co-founder of CrossHarbor Capital Partners, and David Fialkow, co-founder and managing director of General Catalyst.

“We are thrilled to announce the highly anticipated grand opening of our Boston private terminal and the formal introduction of our unique service model to new and existing Jet Card members in the Boston area,” said Jet Linx president and CEO Jamie Walker. “Boston is one of our most valuable markets and continues to show significant growth.”

The Boston base is part of a growth strategy that includes additional bases throughout the U.S.—in Austin, Chicago, and New York, with future locations planned for Florida and California. Jet Linx also is expanding through acquisition, including last month’s purchase of Elliott Aviation’s management division. In the past four years, it also has acquired ProJet Aviation in Washington, D.C., and Flight Concepts in Oklahoma.

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Lee Aerospace’s CoolView Windows PMA’d for Beechjet

Lee Aerospace has received parts manufacturing approval (PMA) of its CoolView windows for the side cockpit windows on the Beechjet 400, 400A, and 400T, the Wichita-based supplier announced last week. CoolView, which blocks up to 62 percent of infrared rays and virtually all UV rays via an internal metallic barrier, was previously PMA'd for Beechcraft King Airs and Hawkers.

"I think as a follow-on to the previous PMAs we have in the aftermarket, pilots and passengers alike are specifically asking for this technology on their aircraft, which has given us a long list of projects to work on this year,” said Lee Aerospace chief engineer Joel Weber.

Its CoolView windows will be on display on a Beechcraft King Air C90 next month at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. There, the company will also offer aircraft window polishing as an authorized service provider for airshow attendees. “This is the first year we are offering the window polishing services at Oshkosh,” said Lee Aerospace CEO Jim Lee. “We will have a mobile team of our experienced technicians right there at the show.”


Shell Australia Renews Helicopter Transport with CHC

Oil and gas operator Shell Australia has renewed its helicopter services agreement with CHC Helicopter Australia for transportation of its personnel to its Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility off the coast of Australia. The new agreement, details of which CHC didn’t disclose, continues a six-year relationship between the two parties.

“We are humbled that Shell has once again chosen CHC to be its partner as Prelude moves into the critical production phase,” said CHC regional director for Asia-Pacific Vince D’Rozario. “During the past six years, we have transported more than 50,000 passengers and accrued over 10,000 flight hours while maintaining excellent safety and aircraft availability."

CHC will use its Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and crews for daily passenger transport and emergency flights between its base in Broome, in the Kimberley region of western Australia, and Prelude, a distance of 475 km, or 295 miles. Refueling between the two points will be done at Djarindjin Airport.


Elliott Starts First G5000 Install on Citation Excel

With the issuance of a supplemental type certificate for the retrofit of the Garmin G5000 in the Cessna Citation 560XL earlier this month, Elliott Aviation has begun its first installation of the upgraded flight deck on a Citation Excel along with its own Prizm cabin lighting system and Smart Vision Shades.  

The G5000 STC applies to nearly 700 aircraft, and the Illinois-based MRO—which in 2015 performed the first retrofit of the avionics package in a Hawker 400XP—said it already has 16 more 560XLs booked in the queue for the installation. “We expect the Garmin G5000 program for the Citation Excel and XLS to be a huge success,” said Conrad Theisen, Elliott’s director of avionics sales. “We have seen a lot of interest from early adopters with 17 aircraft sold.”

The retrofit for the Excel and XLS carries an average base installation price of $500,000 and replaces the Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics, including the flight director system and autopilot, and offers ADS-B Out, WAAS/LPV, dual-channel digital flight control system, integrated engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS), all in a lighter-weight package, while swapping the obsolescent CRT screens for LCDs. Current options include synthetic vision, turbulence detection, SurfaceWatch, underspeed protection, and Chartview. Additional optional functions such as CPDLC/Link 2000 services, FANS-1/A, and lightning and hail prediction will be added in the future.

Airworthiness Directives Sponsored by MRO Insider
AD Number: EASA 2019-0148-E (Emergency)
Mftr: Airbus Helicopters
Model(s): EC175B
Published: June 21, 2019
Effective: June 25, 2019

Requires repetitive inspections of the horizontal stabilizer main spar and, depending on findings, replacement.

AD Number: EASA 2019-0149
Mftr: Leonardo Helicopters
Model(s): AB139, AW139
Published: June 24, 2019
Effective: July 1, 2019

A production non-conformity issue has been reported on a specific batch of engine mounting rods with P/N 3G7120V00132. This non-conformity degrades the material strength of the mounting rods, according to EASA. Thus, AD requires removal from service of each affected part and replacement with a serviceable part.

AD Number: FAA 2019-12-06
Mftr: Leonardo Helicopters
Model(s): AW139
Published: June 25, 2019
Effective: July 30, 2019

Requires inspecting and altering the Number 1 driveshaft. Prompted by reports of scratches that were found on a driveshaft.

AINalerts News Tips/Feedback: News tips may be sent anonymously, but feedback must include name and contact info (we will withhold name on request). We reserve the right to edit correspondence for length, clarity and grammar. Send feedback or news tips to AINalerts editor Chad Trautvetter.
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