As single-aisle airliner conversions to executive use increase, so does demand for high-end cabin outfitting. It is this demand that brings M&D Aviation and Avocet Aviation Services–both located at Orlando-Sanford International Airport–into that market segment with “turn-key interior solutions” for Airbus and Boeing customers.
Partnering with Avocet Aviation to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services was the key to jump-starting the completion and refurbishment business, said Avocet director of aircraft technical services Patrick Arellano. “We have been in the maintenance and teardown of airliners for some time and [a partnership with M&D] is a natural progression of growth for us.”
“Marketing data indicate that there has been increased demand for airline-class VIP aircraft conversions over the last few years,” pointed out M&D CEO Dr. Doyle Sisson, who also noted that completion and refurbishment centers in the U.S. and abroad are currently at or close to capacity. He further pointed out that Orlando-Sanford is “a site with growth potential and a region with a strong manufacturing and maintenance base.”
Considering that most of the M&D projects will last 12 months or so, “what better environment for our clients and their families to spend time than in the warmth of central Florida?”
According to David Salkovitz, v-p of sales and marketing for M&D, the initial 56,000-sq-ft hangar is ready to go, with one airplane expected to arrive in April and the second in the spring of 2012.
Salkovitz said M&D expects to do two single-aisle airliner reconfigurations this year and will be able to handle up to five aircraft per year–green completions or reconfigurations or a combination thereof–when at full capacity by late next year. Ground will be broken this fall for second hangar, double the size of the first. A third hangar is planned for late 2012 or early 2013 and will include a paint shop. Avocet aviation has a 55,510-sq-ft hangar at Orlando-Sanford International.
In the meantime, said Salkovitz, exterior paint work will be outsourced to independent shops in Florida. He added that M&D has already signed as partners independent upholstery and cabinetry shops with extensive executive experience.
M&D has “substantial” private financial backing and has received incentives from both the local airport authority and Seminole County.