Gulfstream Aerospace is closing its service center at Bertram Luiz Leupolz Airport in Sorocaba, Brazil, near São Paulo, the company confirmed yesterday. It opened a factory-owned service center in Sorocaba seven years ago, initially taking over a two-year-old hangar from sister company Jet Aviation in 2012 and then relocating to a larger, 34,768-sq-ft facility across the field in 2014.
The company made the decision to close the facility “after considerable research and evaluation,” adding, “We remain committed to our operators in Latin America and have a plan in place to support them.” Currently, there are approximately 200 Gulfstream jets based in Latin America.
To offset the loss of its Sorocaba location, Gulfstream is expanding its Field and Airborne Support Teams (FAST) in the region and integrating them with a to-be-announced authorized service provider in Brazil. According to Gulfstream, the Sorocaba faciity will remain open with minimal staff for drop-in service appointments until such a third-party agreement is established.
Further, the company is expanding its West Palm Beach, Florida service center, which “has been the center of choice for most customers in Latin America,” it noted. When completed early next year, the 115,000-sq-ft West Palm facility “nearly triples the size of the Sorocaba facility and offers an enhanced service experience,” Gulfstream told AIN.
In addition, the company said the more than 400 technicians and support personnel added to its customer support organization last year complements existing Gulfstream-authorized facilities in Venezuela and Mexico. Gulfstream said it will also retain its two field service representatives in Brazil.
“As our customers’ needs and our fleet evolve, so too must our approach to service,” the company told AIN. “This new, multi-faceted approach will help us be more agile and responsive to our customers’ needs in the [Latin American] region.”