F-16 work boosts Nordam revenues

Farnborough Air Show » 2006
November 16, 2006, 9:24 AM

The receipt of a license to manufacture components may not always seem like a big deal, but for John Uczekaj, president and COO of the Nordam Group, his company’s recently obtained license to manufacture and repair bonded and structural components for the 1,400-strong worldwide fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 A/B/C/D fighters represents a significant step toward putting the company “on the trajectory to be in the billion-dollar [annual revenue] range in the next eight to 10 years.” He said privately owned, Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Nordam will gross more than $500 million this year and more than $600 million next year.

“The Lockheed Martin license gives us credibility in the marketplace,” Uczekaj told Aviation International News. “We’ve done repair work on the depot level for years, but this is the first success we’ve had directly with a military OEM.” He expects the contract will add up to $150 million to Nordam’s revenues in five years and increase its percentage of military-related income from 12 to 15 percent. The contract includes wings, flight-control surfaces, access doors, landing-gear doors, fuselage structures and all related sub-components and gives Nordam access to Lockheed-owned tooling and technical data required to manufacture and repair these structures.

With some 45 percent of its annual revenue coming from maintenance, repair and overhaul services to the airline and air freight markets, Nordam was hard hit by the downturn in airline business after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, said Uczekaj. But he did see a turnaround for his company at the end of last year, based he said as much on a change in company strategy as it was to a leveling of the market. Though U.S. domestic airline business remains down, FedEx, Nordam’s biggest MRO customer, and operations overseas, particularly at Nordam’s Singapore facility, have increased. The company recently increased the capacities of both this facility and another in Wales in the UK.

It also recently celebrated the opening of a joint, 20,000-square-foot facility with Jet Star Aeronautic Interiors of Rio De Janeiro in São José dos Campos, Brazil, to support its contract to supply cabinetry for the Embraer Legacy 600 business jet. Uczekaj said he expects this facility will strengthen Nordam’s relationship with Embraer, giving it a stronger position in winning contracts to support the new Lineage 1000 and Phenom 100 and 300 business jets. “Our intention is to expand the facility’s capabilities as our relationship with Embraer expands,” he said.

Nordam has experienced “sizable increases” in revenues from the business aviation sector last year, “more than 30 percent,” according to Uczekaj. Here at Farnborough it is announcing the receipt of a contract to supply its Norstar wing-tip lenses for standard installation on Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Sovereign, making it the first business jet equipped with the product, which replaces traditional glass lenses. Airbus has used Norstar lenses on its narrow and widebody airplanes since 2000.

According to Nordam, the two-ply Norstar lenses, which have a polycarbonate inner substrate and an outer acrylic surface, provide an 80-percent longer life than polycarbonate lenses and weigh 50-percent less than glass lenses.

Finally, Nordam announced that Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland signed a contract extension for Nordam cabinetry for the PC-12 turboprop-single business airplane, just as the original contract for 60 sets neared completion. Deliveries under the new contract will begin next month to Pilatus facilities in Broomfield, Colorado, and Stans, Switzerland.

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