PATS Aircraft, part of DeCrane Aerospace Systems, will be expanding its facilities and hiring up to 200 additional employees over the next 18 months in response to its strong business growth, the company announced yesterday. PATS provides auxiliary fuel systems and interior completions work for business, commercial and military aircraft manufacturers.
“Recently the business jet industry has seen tremendous growth, which has resulted in an even stronger demand for PATS’ products and services,” said company president Bill Weaver.
Increased demand for Hawker and Learjet aircraft has resulted in increased production of the company’s APU kits, the company said, and the VIP interior completion business is “particularly strong” as a result of increased orders from Boeing, Embraer and independent operators. DeCrane signed an agreement with Embraer last year to complete the interiors for the Lineage 1000, the Brazilian company’s new ultra-large business jet.
As part of its expansion plans, PATS will be adding four new hangar bays and constructing a 100,000-sq-ft manufacturing building in Georgetown, Del. Construction of the hangars is expected to be finished by the middle of next year, and completion of the new building is expected in 2009.
In addition, the company will hire more than 200 people over the next 18 months in preparation for the increased workload. PATS will be adding to its mid- and upper-level management staff to ensure that the increased production is managed properly.
The company plans to develop a lean manufacturing program, Weaver said. “The move to a lean manufacturing environment will streamline our processes and instill a culture of continuous improvement in all aspects of our business.”
“PATS is growing from the inside out to better serve our customers in every possible way,” he added. “We are preparing not only for today, but for the growth and changes in the industry anticipated over the next decade.”
PATS was founded in 1976 and was acquired by DeCrane Aerospace in 1999.
The company currently employs 600 people at its Delaware facilities.