MRO Profile: Arinc aircraft maintenance

 - October 24, 2006, 7:57 AM

Company boasts two part 145-authorized facilities

When the name Arinc comes up in conversation most pilots think of an old, established leader in transportation communications. The Annapolis, Md. company was founded as Aeronautical Radio, Inc., in 1929 to provide reliable and efficient radio communications for the airlines. Today, Arinc has more than 3,000 employees worldwide who develop and operate communications and information processing systems and provide systems engineering and integration solutions to airports, aviation, defense, government and surface transportation.

In 1999 the company expanded its scope of operations to include aircraft maintenance and opened its first general aviation FAA Part 145 repair station on Colorado Springs Airport. In late 2002 the company rented hangar space from Scottsdale Air Center on Scottsdale Airport (SDL) and opened a second maintenance facility that received FAA FAR Part 145 repair station approval last July. The two facilities work together closely, despite the 500 miles between them.

The Colorado Springs facility has an 18,500-sq-ft hangar with another 5,000-sq-ft office and support building that houses a sheet metal shop, engineering personnel, avionics repair and overhaul and a PMA shop. The facility is managed by Kevin Bopp and serves as headquarters for Wayne Turnquist, director of aircraft service, who oversees all aspects of aircraft maintenance for Arinc.

The Colorado Springs facility performs maintenance, avionics installation, avionics integration and repair of general, business and commercial aircraft. For winter operation, one of the hangars has both a heated floor and ramp space capable of holding aircraft through a Boeing 747 to facilitate operations in snow or icing conditions. The hours of operation for the Colorado Springs facility are 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

DAS Authorization

“Last October the FAA awarded Arinc Aircraft Services designated alteration station (DAS) authorization. It was only the fifth such DAS award to a third-party provider of business aircraft repairs and modifications,” Turnquist told AIN.

“What DAS authorization did for us was significantly reduce the time needed to approve aircraft data, conduct conformity and compliance inspections, approve inspection reports, plan and approve tests and results, issue type inspection authorizations and experimental certificates, amend standard airworthiness certificates, approve airplane flight manual supplements, and issue, amend or re-issue DAS supplemental type certificates (STCs).”

According to Turnquist, once the company had the authority to develop and approve its own STCs, it could speed up  number of avionics modification programs such as RVSM systems and retrofit new safety equipment such as terrain awareness and warning systems.

Turnquist said Arinc Air Services has a total of 85 employees. “Colorado Springs has 60 employees, including 45 technical personnel, and Scottsdale has 25 employees, of whom 22 are technical. We all work together, so there’s a lot of communication between the two locations. For example, Colorado Springs supports Scottsdale with engineering expertise and avionics work.”

Turnquist said Arinc did quite a bit of RVSM work for a few years but now that it’s thinning out the company has begun to put greater emphasis on some of the major inspections. “To that end, we’re getting into major inspections, structural and electrical,” he said. “We’re definitely looking to expand at both of our facilities, and we’re in discussions with several OEMs about the possibility of becoming an authorized service center.”

“When we decided to expand the operation we chose Scottsdale because of the number of general aviation aircraft based at SDL,” Turnquist said. “Scottsdale has 25,000 sq ft of hangar space used as a shop, plus another 5,000 sq ft of space to house inventory and offices. Jorge Gonzalez is our manager down there. he facility is doing great and exceeding our original expectations.”

With its Part 145 repair station certification the Scottsdale facility will be able to service and repair more than 50 types of aircraft. The facility can now provide aircraft modifications, integration services, instrument repairs, complex maintenance and static system testing, along with several categories of inspection. It also offers all disciplines of non-destructive testing, including dye pen, Magnaflux, eddy current and radiography.

“Our plan is to continue to expand and meet the needs of business aviation,” Gonzalez said. “Receiving our repair station certification makes it dramatically easier and more convenient for operators to obtain critical aircraft repairs and maintenance.” According to Gonzalez, the Scottsdale facility provides all levels of inspection for Raytheon, Bombardier, Cessna and Gulfstream aircraft as well as all Learjets.

AOG Services

“Arinc Scottsdale has grown from two employees to 25 in two years because of the demand for our services and the capabilities we provide,” said Craig Bevington, sales manager. “The repair station certificate allows us to provide a wider variety of services–including avionics installations and modifications, major inspections, and important items that need immediate repair–to our customers.”

The Scottsdale facility specializes in general and heavy maintenance, emergency and AOG maintenance, and regularly scheduled maintenance for business and general aviation. Its regular business hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but both facilities have a night hotline making them available 24 hours a day for AOG.

“Both facilities perform extensive work on site and are staffed by aircraft-on-ground teams of highly qualified technicians ready to be dispatched anywhere n the world at a moment’s notice to troubleshoot and repair a vast majority of avionics and systems-related problems,” Turnquist said. “We’ve had projects in places such as Jakarta, Indonesia; Singapore; Hong Kong; Beijing, China; Bangkok, Thailand; Rome; London; the Netherlands; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Johannesburg, South Africa. We have the expertise to go on the road and get he job done.”

ARINC SYSTEM-WIDECAPABILITIES

•    Phase inspections

•    A through D checks

•    24 hour AOG services

•    Oxygen & nitrogen services

•    Air-conditioning service

•    D.E.R./S.T.C./field approvals

•    Aircraft inspections, ADs/SBs

•    Structural repairs and modifications

•    Avionics support and installation

•    Avionics integration

•    Interiors completions

•    Maintenance facilities