Falcon appointees hawk factory service centers

 - January 11, 2008, 8:58 AM

Dassault Falcon Jet’s recent appointments of John Rahilly and Todd McGahey mark the latest efforts by the manufacturer to market the customer-support offerings at its two company-owned service centers in Little Rock, Ark., and Wilmington, Del. The Wilmington facility has been under an expansion and modernization program, albeit somewhat delayed, since the company bought the one-time Atlantic Aviation flagship facility and authorized Falcon service center a little over two years ago.

Rahilly has been named v-p of national sales and marketing for the company’s service network organization. Well known in the business aviation industry, Rahilly also has considerable experience with Dassault, having managed the largest independent authorized Falcon service center at the former K-C Aviation in Appleton, Wis., and he worked for Signature/BBA for a time. Most recently he served as v-p of operations for the Mercury Air Center FBO chain, but the bulk of his career was as president at K-C Aviation until Gulfstream Aerospace acquired the company in 1999.

Rahilly’s primary goal will be to “integrate the sales and marketing functions of our two factory-owned facilities into a smooth, unified operation,” according to senior v-p of customer support Gerry Goguen. Dassault customers should be pleased to hear that Goguen said, “We want to exceed expectations in quality and turnaround time, while providing superior value and a high level of customer experience.”

Service and sales teams at Falcon operations in both Little Rock and Wilmington will report directly to Rahilly, who will be based in Wilmington. Previously, the service team at Little Rock reported to the colocated management of the completion center. The new line of reporting is to ensure consistency in products and services between the two facilities, said a Dassault Falcon Jet official. “Falcon operators expect a high level of service and attention from our factory-owned facilities, and John will lead the charge to make sure they receive it,” promised Dassault Falcon Jet Wilmington president Jack Young.

Also to be based at Wilmington is McGahey, who has been named v-p and general manager of the facility. He joined Dassault from General Electric Engine Services, where he ran Garrett Aviation Services in Springfield, Ill., and three satellite facilities. At Dassault Falcon Jet McGahey will be responsible for managing the 200 service people currently employed at Wilmington, as well as overseeing future development and expansion programs.

Slow, but Steady Progress

Dassault Falcon Jet Wilmington has been undergoing a major development effort since the company acquired the operation. More than $2 million has already been invested to update existing facilities (out of a projected total that will exceed $20 million), including a new structural repair center where tooling is used to fabricate slats, leading edges and other key components for older and current Falcons.

But progress has been delayed on some major projects. For example, the ground breaking for a 40,000-sq-ft, two-bay paint hangar that was originally planned for this quarter has been set back to possibly the second quarter subject to successful final lease agreements with the Delaware River Bay Authority (DRBA). Unexpected cost and other issues had to be resolved between Dassault Falcon Jet and its lessor and financial partner, the DRBA, before building contracts could be finalized.

“Contracts will soon be under way,” the company said last month, adding that the paint hangar will be capable of handling “current and future Falcons, as well as Gulfstreams, Challengers and smaller aircraft.”