“We’re a prime contractor–a small version of what Greenpoint Technologies and Gore Design Completion started out as,” said Gary Girard, president of Diversified Aviation Services, explaining the role of his Miami-based facility in the cabin completion and refurbishment industry.
Diversified has been in business since 1991, involved in aircraft sales and acquisition and aviation consulting, though more these days in a consulting role. Girard’s Cuban-born wife, Madai, is a 50-percent partner who oversees set-up and administration of management projects, as well as handling any Spanish-language requirements.
Girard has more than 32 years of experience in business aviation and explained that Diversified Aviation has more recently come to occupy what he identifies as an empty niche–creating modular, quick-change interiors, coordinating the suppliers and integrating myriad interior components. Diversified has its own interior design team but occasionally goes outside for additional expertise. One example of Diversified’s ability is the recent Boeing 737 reconfiguration design that was handled by the Parkland, Fla.-based Mauricio Cabal studio.
Outside sources tapped included seat upholstery and other soft goods from Wisetouch Interiors of Miami; seats from Pac Seating Systems of Palm City, Fla.; ground/air cabin communications by Thrane & Thrane of Denmark; cabinetry from Duane Norman Aviation of Orlando; and cabin management and in-flight entertainment systems from Flight Display Systems. Banyan Air Service did the component installation and final finish. StandardAero of Phoenix managed the certification process. For airframe structural work, Diversified is allied with a number of established MRO providers.
“Between Miami and Orlando,” said Girard, “we can find suppliers for about 95 percent of everything that goes into one of our interiors.” At the same time, working directly with the owner, Diversified will send the aircraft and components for installation anywhere in the world, “from New York to Frankfurt, Germany.”
At the end of the most current project, a Boeing 737-500 emerged with a new modular interior that can serve in Part 125 scheduled service with 56 seats, or as a Part 135 charter aircraft with modular changes in the layout, “for political candidates, sports teams or a United Nations corporate charter.”
Diversified estimates the initial phase of reconfiguration–design and engineering, identification of suppliers, arrangements for delivery of components and scheduling of any structure modifications and the actual installation–will take about six months. The actual down time for installation, said Girard, is typically about 60 days for a 737.
While Diversified can do any size aircraft, up to and including a Boeing 747, the next project is another 737 “with more modules and more amenities and thirty-two seats.”
Diversified is not in the business of doing highly personalized private or corporate jets, emphasized Girard. But he adds, “What we’re doing with our modular charter conversions is a lot more than just a painted-over airline interior.”