Bangor, Maine–based C&L Aviation Group, a global aviation services and aftermarket support provider for regional and corporate aircraft, is celebrating its 25-year anniversary at NBAA-BACE with a whole lot of fun. The company is FAA- and EASA-approved for servicing, maintaining, and supporting operators in the corporate and regional aviation industry. C&L offers parts support, heavy maintenance, interior refurbishment, aircraft teardown, disassembly services, and aircraft management through a series of subsidiary companies. Its reach spans to Australia, Singapore, and Europe, where the company says it keeps staff and offices to provide 24-hour worldwide assistance to its customers.
You might know C&L founder and CEO Chris Kilgour from his company’s unique informational video style (within the MRO business, anyway). C&L uses its videos for promotion, sure, but there is no doubt that Kilgour also uses the production of these videos for pure, unadulterated corporate fun.
“I never really liked the typical marketing campaigns with the nice boring videos and that sort of thing. So I wanted to do something different,” Kilgour told AIN. Take a look at any one of the company’s videos, and then just for a grin peek at their blooper reel. Those are all C&L employees, and if you don’t think they are having fun then you need a reboot on what fun is. This year the company released four comedic videos leading up to NBAA-BACE.
Kilgour may have a talent for YouTube, but he’s also earned his chops as a businessperson in aviation the long, hard way. Under his leadership, C&L expanded into maintenance with the acquisition of Telford Aviation in Bangor, Maine, in 2010. Since then the company has grown from 20 to more than 250 employees with warehouses and sales offices around the globe and a 140,000-sq-ft facility in Bangor. The company now offers parts and services on both corporate and airline aircraft and specializes in the Embraer ERJ 135/145, ATR 42/72, Saab 340, de Havilland Dash-8, Bombardier CRJ 200/700, Bombardier Challenger 601-604, Beech Hawker 800, Beechjet 400, and Cessna Citations.
“The last 25 years have had plenty of challenges, but it’s humbling to have so many amazing people here who are so dedicated and who continually strive to satisfy our customers,” Kilgour said. The company was formed in 1994 in a basement in Brisbane, Australia, and initially sold aircraft parts to the Australian Air Force. “We’ve focused on specific airframes and have experienced exceptional growth doing that. There are a few more airframes we’ll be targeting, moving forward. We aren’t everything to everyone as an MRO, but we focus well,” he continued. Kilgour also said that the company was exploring the expansion of its "power-by-the-hour" engine program from its commercial roots to the corporate side of the business. “We are building up our capabilities on the engineering side of the business, with a focus on avionics, as well,” he said.
To foster such growth in a relatively small community, C&L has an aircraft apprentice program and is exploring the development of a local aircraft mechanic/technician certification program in cooperation with the town of Bangor.
In other news this month, C&L Aerospace, a C&L Aviation Group company, has hired Ian Hilton as director of business development for Europe and Africa specializing in ERJ 135/145 and ATR 42-72 aircraft. Hilton came to C&L from AAR, where he was director of ATR products for AAR Aviation Services and commercial director at ACLAS Global. Hilton’s specialties are ERJ and ATR aircraft and the Pratt & Whitney PW127 and PW127M engines.
This hire follows on the heels of C&L Engineering Services’ hiring of Jim Katopodis, a design engineer. Katopodis has more than 26 years of experience and was most recently an avionics and electrical engineer for BizJet International.
C&L Engineering Services was founded just last year as yet another subsidiary of C&L Aviation Group. The company has worked on C&L’s STC certification for the Saab 340 ADS-B in/Out Solution, JSX cabin refurbishment STC, and the ADS-B solution for Berry Aviation’s fleet of EMB-120 aircraft.