Firm’s goal to ease challenges for N. A. OEMs

 - November 8, 2006, 8:11 AM

Small and medium-size North American OEMs can find the European market challenging in terms of providing engineering and customer support for their products. UK-based Aerospace Representatives (ARL) is seeking to meet this need by offering to be more than just a sales representative in the region.

For a retainer payment in addition to sales commissions, ARL will assist with getting the necessary engineering approvals through the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and help establish a product-support infrastructure on that side of the Atlantic. “We want to be more than just an order-taker, visiting customers with a catalog,” explained ARL founder Chris Nicholls. He was formerly a co-owner of cabin systems specialist IEC, which he sold to U.S. group Intheairnet.

ARL’s roster of OEMs already includes cabin display and in-flight entertainment specialist Rosen Aviation, aircraft management and noise reduction system supplier AIMS and electronic flight bag installer ABC Completions. It also handles marketing for completions engineering house H4 Aerospace UK and is seeking to add more cabin interior equipment makers to its portfolio.

“We believe we are different from traditional sales representatives in that we offer our principals a means to access new and existing market sectors using our strong engineering background and by being proactive in seeking relationships as preferred suppliers for them from a design requirement to production product life cycle,” Nicholls told AIN. “Large completions centers and aircraft OEMs alike are now demanding a more local presence to deal not just with sales procurement but the general day-to-day issues on both a technical engineering basis and that of continued support.”

Meanwhile, H4 Aerospace has won two new contracts to handle the engineering and EASA certification for major VIP cabin refurbishments for a pair of Boeing 757s. This work will be conducted by the company’s new offices in Hamburg, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary. The company is partly owned by Swiss aircraft management and charter firm PrivatAir and has overseen refit work on its Boeing Business Jet and Boeing 757 fleet. It also has UK offices at Hemel Hempstead and Hawarden (near the Raytheon Aircraft Services maintenance and refurbishment facility). Other clients include Lufthansa Technik.