Russell Ford became CEO of StandardAero just before NBAA 2013 and he already has a firm grasp of the direction the independent provider of engine and airframe maintenance and other services needs to go. The Dubai Aerospace Enterprise-owned global company, with more than 3,800 employees and $1.6 billion in annual revenue, needs to continue to find new products and new solutions.
StandardAero’s strength, Ford said at the company’s press conference here on Monday, is the broad-based knowledge of its employees, their passion about aviation, their focus on safety and the services and solutions that the company provides.
One of the new products is StandardAero’s recently established aircraft brokerage division. “Two things came together,” explained Marc McGowen, senior vice president of business aviation. “One is a strategic view of what we might do and the other is finding the right person for the job. So we hired Larry Dean, who has been in the charter business and in banking, lending money for aircraft acquisitions. Larry’s expertise has helped us get into this business.”
Ford added, “With flying hours down, parts not breaking and customers deferring maintenance, this is a perfect time to expand our business in products, services and geographically.”
StandardAero has seen bright spots. “2013 has been a benchmark year in avionics work for StandardAero,” McGowen said. “The avionics unit exceeded all sales objectives for the year, with a record number of installations and STCs on a range of aircraft platforms. Partnerships with Honeywell and Rockwell Collins, including Primus Elite and Pro Line 4 to 21 upgrades, resulted in significant avionics growth. And in April, Aircell announced that StandardAero was its number-one dealer.
Earlier this year, Honeywell certified StandardAero as an authorized testing facility for the TFE731-50 engine, the latest engine certified by the U.S. company. StandardAero is the only facility, other than the OEM, that has TFE731-50 test capability. To date, it has completed 10 major periodic inspections (MPIs) on the engine. The TFE731-50 powers the Hawker 900XP and there are more than 350 engines currently in service.