BBA Aviation's Ontic Engineering & Manufacturing unit is continuing to expand its reach in the Asia-Pacific region with FAA approval for its Singapore maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility. The U.S. approval joins similar authorizations from Singapore, China, Thailand, Malaysia, and the European Aviation Safety Agency, and is among a number of certifications that Ontic is pursuing for the Singapore facility.
“Our Singapore facility is strategically situated to offer fast turnaround times on MRO services to customers who operate fleets in Asia-Pacific, and we have been purposefully pursuing certifications in order to support the region,” said Gareth Hall, president and managing director of Ontic. “We look forward to expanding further into the Asia-Pacific market.”
The Singapore facility, co-located with sister company Dallas Airmotive at Seletar Aerospace Park, has serviced a number of operators in the region, including Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Air New Zealand, Air Macau, CSA XinJiang, CSA ShengYang, and Jetstar Japan.
'Extended Life Solutions'
In addition to its MRO capabilities, Ontic calls the Singapore facility a “storefront” for its OEM-licensed and acquired components offerings. Ontic has been aggressively expanding its “extended life solutions” for legacy aircraft, an effort that the company said enables it to better support the Asia-Pacific market.
This expansion includes a recent licensing agreement with UTC Aerospace Systems covering manufacturing rights for wound-motor LRUs for a range of military aircraft. The agreement builds on a 40-year relationship between Ontic and UTC Aerospace Systems, beginning in 1974 with an initial license with Sundstrand Corporation (now part of UTC Aerospace Systems).
Announced in December, the UTC Aerospace agreement was among a number that Ontic has been working on in recent years. The company significantly expanded its portfolio with the acquisition GE Aviation’s legacy avionics business in late 2016. That business involves legacy avionics parts including electromechanical, barometric, gyroscopes, and electronics products.
The business enables Ontic to further its support in the Asia-Pacific market with an expanded portfolio of electromechanical, barometric, gyroscopes, and other avionics products, Ontic said. These parts support platforms including the Boeing 737, Sikorsky Sea King, and Leonardo AW101, along with the Lockheed Martin C-130J transport and BAE Hawk military trainer.
Ontic has been folding the GE avionics business into its neighboring Cheltenham, UK facility and moving about 80 employees from GE. To accommodate the new work, Ontic has added a number of new workshops as well as testing capabilities in Cheltenham. Robert Sadler, director of business development for Ontic, said Ontic invested heavily in its facility and worked closely with GE to support the transition of the business.
In addition Ontic expanded its Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D engine component production. The JT15D parts acquisition involved an outright purchase of manufacturing rights and encompasses approximately 80 parts. This marked the third batch for the JT15D, bringing Ontic’s support to close to 300 of those parts.
As a result of these new licenses and rights acquisitions, Ontic’s revenues have ballooned from $35 million in 2006, when BBA acquired the Chatsworth, California-based company, to $190 million. During its mid-year report in 2017, BBA called Ontic a driver in the 134-percent leap in first half operating profits of the Ontic Aftermarket Services Group.
With the integration of the GE components, and preparations for general work, Ontic’s employee base has increased by approximately 120 to top 500.
“We’ve got a large appetite for acquiring intellectual property,” Sadler said “Our BBA parent has fully funded us to do that, and we’re working to deploy that capital.”
Ontic has an expansive portfolio that has grown to encompass 4,500 products and one million component parts for 3,000 military, commercial, and business and general aviation customers.