MRO Profile: Landmark Aviation

 - December 6, 2007, 8:58 AM

Newly named Landmark Aviation is still growing within the business aviation community, at least when it comes to name recognition. While the name may be new–it made its debut at November’s NBAA Convention–the company’s roots go deep. In 2004 The Carlyle Group bought Garrett Aviation Services from General Electric, adding it to a family that included Piedmont Hawthorne (which the group purchased in 1998) and Associated Air Center (which Carlyle bought in 2000).

The challenge for management was bringing together three well known and well respected but distinctly different companies. So at the 2004 NBAA Convention, The Carlyle Group announced a flight support, maintenance and overhaul company named Garrett/Piedmont Hawthorne/Associated. The new name certainly covered all the bases, but it didn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Andrew Farrant, vice president of marketing and communications for Landmark Aviation, told AIN, “I was brought on board during NBAA 2004 and it was my feeling the name needed to be reconsidered. I have always felt there are two ways to go about doing something like a name change: show up one day and say you’re changing your name or go to your employees and customers and come up with a consensus. I believe the marketplace will tell you what to do if you just listen.”

So Farrant posed the branding question to the company’s employee and customer bases. According to Farrant, management considered as many as 1,500 different possibilities, one of which was Landmark. “When we presented the idea everyone was telling us it projected a stable image while reflecting the long history of our components. So we announced it at the last NBAA and have had positive feedback from both our employees and customers since.”

Harvey Ticlow, executive vice president of MRO operations, said Landmark Aviation now has 43 locations in the U.S., including its most recent acquisition, Westchester Skyport Flight Services at White Plains, N.Y., and the company is always on
the lookout for additional properties for the growing maintenance and FBO chain.

“Our key objective for the MRO side of the business is to help reduce cost of ownership for our customers and have their aircraft down for the least possible time,” Ticlow said. “We currently have four major MRO facilities, with the Houston, Augusta and Los Angeles sites designated as engine centers of excellence”.

“We consolidated our engine shops to improve efficiency and throughput,” Ticlow explained. “One of the ways we did that was by closing the Garrett Long Island facility and moving the work to the other sites. That allowed us to offer multiple shifts at those sites and improved product throughput. We are indisputably the world’s leading TFE731 shop, but by consolidating we’ve made it more efficient. We’ve got midpoint inspections on the TFE731 down to as little as two days rather than the more common seven days and, in some cases, as long as 30 days. We are currently implementing lean processes in other lines to produce similar results.”

Ticlow said they also have 14 mobile support teams for the TFE731 and light airframe repairs. “We plan to expand team capability to other product lines and services,” he said. “We have the teams strategically located around the U.S. based on market demand. As additional geographic areas yield a high demand we are prepared to add teams to cover them.”

Landmark at Los Angeles
Landmark Aviation’s Los Angeles facility sits on five acres of ramp, includes 14,000 sq ft of FBO lobby and office area, and employs 170 people. The FBO can service all types of aircraft, including widebodies such as the Boeing 767. Farrant said the FBO averages approximately 250 aircraft per week.

“We are currently making significant renovations to the lobby, ramp and parking areas,” he said. “We are also increasing our ramp space by another acre.” The FBO, which has 30 employees, offers fuel, aircraft handling, catering, concierge services, high-end car rental, immigration and customs services, conference rooms, weather services, airport shuttle services, aircraft charter, sales and management, and full maintenance support.

“What differentiates Landmark FBO/ MRO at LAX from other FBOs and MROs on the West Coast is we are the only non-OEM facility that offers complete FBO and maintenance support to include airframe, engine, avionics, interior modifications, engineering services and paint on all types of aircraft from Cessna Citations to Boeing Business Jets,” Farrant said. The LAX facility is a Class 4 FAA repair station and carries authorizations from China’s DGCA, Bermuda’s DC and Europe’s EASA.

The 60,000-sq-ft hangar is capable of handling as many as 25 aircraft, including the G550 and Global Express. In addition, there is 40,000 sq ft of engine shop space and test cells. There is also 20,000 sq ft of back shops, including interior modifications, avionics installations, sheet metal and structures.

The airframe shop is an authorized service center for Dassault Falcon, Raytheon and Bombardier. The company also has significant experience with other airframe types, including the Westwind Astra and Gulfstream. According to Ticlow, the facility is one of only a few non-OEM sites that has a ComScan machine for Gulfstreams. The shop also has full structure repair capability and Level III NDT services.

The avionics shop has full capability and has completed major installations such as RVSM, TAWS, EGPWS, and installations of high-speed data and state-of-the-art cabin management and entertain- ment systems. It also has a full complement of STCs and can support any new STC certification.

The facility also has a strong complement of engineering resources to include structures and electrical engineers and in-house electrical and interior compliance designated engineering representatives.

Landmark’s Major MRO Facilities

Springfield, Ill. (SPI)
270,000-sq-ft facility
Avionics
Completions
Engineering services
FAA-designated alteration station
Interior
Modifications
Paint
Retrofits
Authorized service center:
Dassault Falcon Jet, Raytheon Hawker

Augusta, Ga. (AGS)
150,000-sq-ft facility
Engines: TFE731, TPE331,
PW300, PW500
APUs
Avionics
Airframes
Light interiors
Authorized service center:
Dassault Falcon Jet, Raytheon Hawker and Bombardier Challenger

Houston (IAH)
107,628-sq-ft facility
Engines: TFE731, PW300, PW500
Airframes
Avionics
Authorized service center:
Dassault Falcon Jet, Bombardier Learjet, Raytheon Hawker, Turbocommander
service center

Winston-Salem, N.C. (INT)
100,000-sq-ft facility
Airframe
Avionics
Authorized service center:
Raytheon Beechcraft

Los Angeles (LAX)
Engines: TFE731, TPE331,
CFE738, ATF3, PW300, PW500
Airframes
Avionics
Interiors
Paint
Engineering
FBO services
Authorized service center:
Dassault Falcon Jet,
Raytheon Hawker, Bombardier
Global Express

Norfolk, Va. (ORF)
42,000-sq-ft facility
Airframe
Avionics
Authorized service center:
Raytheon Beechcraft

Roanoke, Va. (ROA)
38,000-sq-ft facility
Airframe
Avionics
Authorized service center:
Raytheon Beechcraft

Greensboro, N.C. (GSO)
35,000-sq-ft facility
Airframe
Avionics
Authorized service center:
Raytheon Beechcraft

Leesburg, Va. (JYO)
35,000-sq-ft facility
Airframe
Avionics
Authorized service center:
Raytheon Beechcraftw