“They’ve forgotten us,” said Victor Guzman, owner and president of GZM Aircraft Interiors, a small independent completion and refurb shop based at Executive Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “They,” he explained, are a growing number of vendors who typically provide cabin interior components to independent (non-OEM) completion and refurb centers such as his.
Some feel that the rise in publicly owned aviation companies managed by MBAs has resulted in a decline in personal service.
Local officials and Honda Aero executives yesterday broke ground for the new engine maker’s Burlington, N.C. headquarters. The Honda Aero headquarters and manufacturing facility will cost about $27 million and includes a 58,400-sq-ft production plant and 8,000-sq-ft test cell on 82 acres off the approach end of Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport’s Runway 24. Construction should be finished late next year or early in 2009.
Standard Aero is planning a $5.5 million, 10,000-sq-ft expansion for its existing 120,000-sq-ft Maryville, Tenn. aircraft maintenance facility, according to Paul Soubry, president and CEO.
In a bid to expand its capabilities to service larger turbine engines, Standard Aero announced the purchase of TSS Aviation in Cincinnati for $65 million. Standard Aero and Landmark aviation were added to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise’s (DAE) rapidly growing portfolio of aviation businesses in August as part of a $1.9 billion buyout from the Carlyle Group.
Gulfstream Aerospace acquired the maintenance operation of BBA Aviation’s facility at London Luton Airport, making the facility the first Gulfstream-owned service center outside the U.S. The facility will continue to provide maintenance for Citations, Falcons and Hawkers, as well as all Gulfstreams.
The surprise departure last month of Bill Boisture from Gulfstream after 10 years as its president and the naming of vice chairman Bryan Moss as his replacement tops a list of several major revelations over the last few months by the Savannah, Ga.-based manufacturer.
“Back in the mid 1990s we made a strategic decision to enter the corporate and regional-airline sectors,” Ron Jonkman, v-p of marketing and business development for Standard Aero, told AIN. “We were doing PT6 work and realized the future was larger engines.” In 1995 the Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada company purchased TOPPS of Tilburg, the Netherlands.
Arising out of Moravan Aeroplanes’ purchase of the assets of bankrupt Let Kunovice in August is a new corporate entity called “Letecke Zavody,” or “LZ Aircraft Works” in English. According to CEO Libor Soska, “The creation of LZ Aircraft Works represents the first meaningful step since the early 1990s to reinvigorate the Czech aerospace industry.”
Since parent company General Dynamics acquired Galaxy Aerospace last year, Gulfstream has been on a program to improve the performance of the Gulfstream 200 (nee Galaxy) to meet a request by NetJets that it be able to fly London to New York in 85-percent winds with four passengers at Mach 0.75.