Five years ago, Ed Laverentz was a full-time fireman “looking for a part-time job that might bring in $20,000 a year.” Now he and his wife, Barb, are the full-time president and general manager, respectively, of Aero Interior Maintenance, and the only fires he’s putting out are in the form of emergency repairs to the soft goods in business aircraft cabins.
While Aero Interior is based in Cheney, Kan., a few minutes west of Wichita, Laverentz has obtained a repair station certificate that includes six other locations. And he also has “away” teams. “You can bring it to us, or we can come to you,” said Laverentz. The company specializes in cleaning, repairing and reconditioning of leathers and vinyls.
A complete refurbishment of eight to 12 seats in a Gulfstream requires about 60 to 70 hours of labor, approximately two or three days with a team of two or three people, depending on how serious the damage to the seat and/or panel coverings.
“Our customers consider us the alternative to a full reupholstery job, at a fraction of the cost,” said Laverentz. “We often get called in to do an interior at the same time the airplane is in for maintenance or service.”