MRO Profile: Jet Works Air Center

 - June 25, 2011, 10:45 AM

Jet Works Air Center is the product of the merger of Jet Works Aviation and Denton Business Air Center, combining the former’s avionics repair capabilities with the latter’s aircraft paint, interior refurbishment and completions center abilities. The FAR Part 145 repair station offers airframe maintenance, engine line maintenance, avionics service and installation, exterior paint and interior refurbishment.

“One area in which we really shine is VIP completions,” president Trey Bryson told AIN. The company recently delivered its first such conversion, a Boeing 727 for a Middle Eastern customer. “We worked closely with the customer’s design team to develop an interior to meet his mission requirements. It had personal areas for the principal and his family plus areas to conduct business. One of the interesting things in the floor plan was the development of a nanny room where the family’s nanny could take the children. It had a spacious, open seating area with room for the children to play, take naps and allow the nanny to provide meal service for them, Bryson said.

The company has an MD87 VIP conversion in process slated to be completed in September. “This project really underscores our strength in the VIP conversion market. We’re converting the aircraft from airline configuration to a VIP interior. Normally a project of this magnitude requires from 14 to 16 months; we’ll be done in eleven.”

Bryson said the design was done by Strack & Associates, the same designer that did the Boeing 727 project. “We’re used to working with them; it’s a good fit,” he said. “The project is an extremely contemporary interior. Instead of the more traditional classic shapes and colors, the design of the cabinetry and all fixtures have clean, sharp lines with a tendency to somewhat more retro fixtures. It’s an interesting project and it exemplifies our versatility in the completions market.”

A Growing Business

Jet Works Air Center initially worked out of 20,000 sq ft of existing hangars it leased while construction was taking place on a permanent facility.

“After two years of leasing we purchased a 15,000-sq-ft hangar and subsequently completed the 12,000-sq-ft environmentally controlled paint facility in February 2005,” Bryson said.

About a year later the operation moved into a new, separate 40,000-sq-ft facility. “The new facility gave us the opportunity to begin working with large-body corporate aircraft such as the Gulfstreams and Challenger. We always had the talent; we just didn’t have the space to support it.”

In June 2007 the company added a 50,000-sq-ft hangar capable of housing multiple Boeings and providing the MRO the ability to do heavy maintenance, refurbishment and completions for VIP operators. Business Air, Jet Works Air Center’s sister company, offers FBO services, aircraft charter and management out of a 125,000-sq-ft facility on the field.

Jet Works Air Center has 124 employees, of which 72 are dedicated to maintenance. The MRO is a Piaggio-authorized service center and the only North American completions center for Piaggio aircraft. The MRO also works on the Cessna Citation 500 and 600 series; the Challenger 600 series; Gulfstream II, III, IV; Learjet 30/40/50/60 series; Boeing 737 series; Piaggio Avanti; Pilatus PC-12; and the UC-35 and C-12 military aircraft.

“We hold numerous supplemental type certificates [STCs] for multiple models of aircraft and are continually exploring the market for new opportunities,” Bryson said. “One of our most popular and impressive STCs is the Pro Line 21 upgrade for the Avanti. The STC gives the aircraft a Pro Line avionics suite minus engine indication. It includes a total redo of the cockpit instrument panel to glass screen displays.”

Bryson said the upgrade takes about 60 days to perform and he encourages operators to do it with a heavy maintenance check to make the most of downtime. “We continue to look for more operators interested in this upgrade, and given the economy we are willing to work with them to make it happen.” 

Jet Works Air Center is also developing STCs focusing on airborne data and Wi-Fi. “Without a question this is the greatest demand in the industry today. The technology has been in development for the last several years but the breakthrough really took place in 2010 to enable us to offer true high-speed-data solutions for the operator. Now devices such as smartphones, iPads and laptops that rely on Internet data transmission can be used on board the aircraft in flight.”