How to be a good rotorcraft MRO partner: The customer’s view
At the Helitech event this week, Dave Gorsky, Senior Vice President, Operations and Technical, Waypoint Leasing, provided the customer’s perspective on what makes an ideal MRO partner.
Gorsky outlined the following crucial capabilities:
- Strong project management skills: “My technical team is small,” Gorsky said. For 155 aircraft Waypoint Leasing has only four staff members and a handful of contractors, so they don’t have this type of capacity to spare.
- Engineering capabilities: If Waypoint needs to develop or install an STC (supplemental type certificate) it expects the MRO partner to be able to manage that.
- Completeness in delivery service: Gorsky said: “When we need to deliver an aircraft to the customer or we are taking the delivery from the MRO to the customer, I don’t want to have return trips to do the inspection and acceptance of the aircraft.”
- Paperwork accuracy: “This is obviously important to all of us in this industry.”
- Problem-solving skills: Operators often have to get very creative on projects to meet tight timescales. “We depend on the MRO to help us with that,” Gorsky explained.
- OEM relationships: “We do not have the time to intervene on the part of the MRO to chase parts – we expect them to have strong OEM relationships so that we don’t have to manage that.”
- Auxiliary services: Such as Flight Test, Certificate of Worthiness support and Part 21 design support. Gorsky commented: “We move aircraft to/from various jurisdictions such as Myanmar, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea. We want an MRO that understands how the paperwork is going to flow, or at least has the ability to get the understanding.”
Gorksy added that when choosing an MRO partner: “Reputation in the industry is paramount,” as is best value (noting that price isn’t the only factor in the ‘cost’ of a project) and past experience of doing business together.
“At the end of the day,” he said, “We look for a one-stop shop that can provide these services so that we don’t have to micro-manage them.”
PBH (parts by the hour) services for MRO was also a key trend discussed during the morning session, which was focused on the latest MRO trends and best practices that can deliver value for rotorcraft. Under these contracts, the customer pays a monthly fee based on the hours they fly and parts are supplied as and when required
As a leasing operator, Gorsky said: “We are big fans of PBH. It is important to us for a lot of reasons – when the appraisors are appraising the value of an aircraft, every component that’s in PBH is considered zero-time so it increases the base value of the aircraft. Also [with some of the jurisdictions that we are dealing with and smaller operators], having an aircraft in PBH allows us to protect the source of the supply to make sure that they’re getting reliable parts from a certified source.”
In an earlier presentation in the session, Justin Barnett, Heli-One, said the key advantages of PBH programmes are: Cost visibility; maximised aircraft availability; reduced admin (due to one centralised point of contact); reduced inventory carrying costs; and increased aircraft residual value.