LABACE Convention News

P&WC Adds Another Designated Maintenance Facility in Brazil

 - August 14, 2018, 3:13 PM
A technician performs MRO activity on a PT6A engine.

Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth 2010) has appointed helicopter MRO provider Helipark Manutenção Aeronáutica, located in Carapicuiba in São Paulo state, a designated maintenance facility for seven of its turboshaft engine models, to support P&WC’s growing sales of engines and aftermarket services in Brazil.

Helipark Manutenção Aeronáutica joins Rico and ABA Manutenção de Aeronaves as designated maintenance facilities P&WC has appointed to its MRO network in Brazil within the past 12 months. The Canada-based turbine-engine OEM appointed both Rico—based in Manaus in Amazonas state—and Barreiras, Bahia-based ABA as designated maintenance facilities last summer. Rico provides MRO for the PT6A engine models powering the more than 400 Cessna Caravans that operate in the vast Amazon basin, and ABA performs MRO on the PT6As powering many aircraft operating in Brazil’s large agricultural-aviation industry.

Satheeshkumar Kumarasingam, P&WC’s v-p for customer service, told AIN that Helipark will perform line maintenance and provide technical support at Carapicuiba (which forms part of the São Paulo metropolitan region) for customers operating P&WC-powered helicopters. Helipark will also provide P&WC turboshaft operators with mobile repair services, in the form of mobile repair teams that use specially outfitted trucks to travel to customers’ base and line-station locations to perform line maintenance on their rotorcraft.

The seven P&WC turboshaft models Helipark will support power a range of light-to-medium size, single- and twin-engine helicopters operated in Brazil. Helipark will provide MRO and support for the PT6B-37A turboshaft powering the single-engine Leonardo AW119, the PW206C powering the twin-engine A109; the PW207C powering the A109 and AW109; and the PW210A powering the Leonardo AW169 medium twin. The Carapicuiba-based MRO shop will also handle work on the PW207D powering the twin-engine Bell 427, as well as the PW207D1 and PW207D2 powering the twin-engine Bell 429.

A Network Approach

Another P&WC designated maintenance facility is PT6A specialist Covington Aircraft, whose Brazilian shop is located in Goiânia in Goiás state. In addition to creating a growing network of designated maintenance facility partners throughout Brazil, Pratt & Whitney Canada also has its own MRO and parts-distribution operation there, Pratt & Whitney Canada do Brasil, which is located at Bertram Luiz Leupolz–Sorocaba Airport, a general aviation airfield in Sorocaba in São Paulo state which is now seeking regulatory approval for international operations. At Sorocaba, P&WC provides MRO and spares services not only for its many Brazilian customers but also for customers in other South American countries, because Brazil is the only South American nation in which the Canadian company has physical MRO facilities.

“It’s important to think of what we do [at Sorocaba] not as an individual site, but really as part of a network,” said Kumarasingam. In addition to the designated maintenance facilities operated by partner companies, P&WC has seven field service representatives and a number of customer managers who serve fleet customers—such as regional airlines and large operators of helicopters and fixed-wing business aircraft—based in Brazil. In addition, the Canadian OEM has sales representatives and field service representatives based in other countries in the region, such as Chile and Colombia, he said.

Kumarasingam said Latin America is an important business-aviation market for Pratt & Whitney Canada, with Brazil—which P&WC recognizes as having the third-largest domestic aviation industry in the world—representing a particularly key country market for the company’s Latin American bizav sales and service activities. “In Latin America, our market share is about 40 percent in business aviation,” he said. “Another important catalyst for us is that we have contributed to the success of the Phenom product line with Embraer.” Embraer chose P&WC’s PW617 turbofan engine to power the Phenom 100 and the PW535E to power the Phenom 300.

“We continue to look for opportunities” to add new business in Brazil, said Kumarasingam. In large part this is because P&WC has seen considerable sales success there in the past decade: its market in Brazil has grown by more than 80 percent in the past 10 years, he said. In 2007, the company had slightly more than 1,600 turbine aircraft engines operating in Brazil; today, P&W has more than 3,200 engines in service with Brazilian operators.

Of these 3,200-plus engines, some 60 percent are PT6As of various models, powering aircraft types that range from Air Tractor and Thrush agricultural sprayers to Embraer Bandeirantes and the approximately 460 Beech King Airs operating in Brazil, according to Kumarasingam. (Many owners use their King Airs to commute between their city residences and their large ranches or estates out in the vast Brazilian countryside.) The remaining 40 percent of the P&WC turbine engines operating in Brazil power helicopters, business jets, and regional airliners.