Estimated reading time 9 minutes, 42 seconds.
Editor’s Note: This sponsored content appears in the Fall 2020 issue of Insight Magazine.
As helicopter operators navigate a brutal economic downturn that has hit them and their customers especially hard, many have an urgent need to reduce direct operating and maintenance costs without sacrificing quality.
In many cases, operators feel pressured by rising maintenance, repair and overhaul bills and are looking for cost-effective alternatives that focus on solutions rather than sales.
“They need to be able to understand that, although it may be a part-life part, or it might be a surplus part or a used, on-condition part, it’s going to be to that same standard — that same safety, and the same quality they would have got from the OEM themselves,” said David Lok, president of Heli-Parts Nevada.
“[When they work with us], there is no difference in service or quality. It’s just coming from a smaller company that has the time and resources to work out the best solution for their operations.”
Heli-Parts Nevada, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Salus Aviation, is a trusted partner of operators around the world for exactly this reason.
The company’s small, agile group of technical experts provides the scrutiny needed to ensure the job is done right — and at a significantly lower cost
“Usually an OEM will sell new parts, whereas we’re just trying to sell a solution,” said Lok, a former director of maintenance with more than 25 years of industry experience.
“We’re trying to provide a solution to keep them flying within their budget, within their cash flow whilst maintaining quality standards throughout our offerings — and that’s our major point of difference.”
Heli-Parts Nevada is located in a 10,000-square-foot warehouse in Boulder City, Nevada, with an extensive product base, including components for Safran (formerly Turbomeca) Arriel 1 and Arriel 2 series engines, and Airbus AS350 (BA, B2, B3) and EC130 engines.
Their extensive inventory includes bevels, tail rotor gear boxes, epicyclics, swashplate assemblies, rotor blades, servos, tail rotor spiders, complete engines for lease, and thousands of smaller parts.
And with a 24-hour aircraft-on-ground (AOG) emergency line, Heli-Parts Nevada promises to find every customer the engine, component or part they need — at the best possible price.
“We can facilitate repair solutions for pretty much everybody in the world, and importantly within their required budget.”David Lok, president of Heli-Parts Nevada
“It’s all about having options as an operator,” said Lok. “We need to be able to facilitate the individual that’s flying 200 hours a year, or the one that is flying 1,800 hours a year. And really, the only way to do it is to have an appropriately extensive inventory.
“We can offer them solutions of a 500-hour time-remaining engine, or an overhauled engine — and pretty much everything in between.”
One of the most significant examples of Heli-Parts Nevada’s track record and expertise is a long-running agreement with Air Methods Corporation (AMC), one of the world’s largest air medical operators.
Heli-Parts Nevada has worked with AMC since 2007, providing a steady supply of engine parts. This relationship has recently been formalized, with an agreement for Heli-Parts Nevada’s trading arm HTN to act as AMC’s preferred fleet management provider. This is the perfect complement to services from Oceania Aviation, another Salus company that works with AMC on aircraft sales, pre-buy inspections, trade-ins and trade-ups.
“The Air Methods contract is representative of the full suite of aviation services that HPN and Oceania provide together,” said Greg Edmonds, CEO of the Salus group.
“You’re lowering direct operator costs, plus targeting the other services they wanted under the contract, which was fleet divestment and fleet sustainment and also purchasing new aircraft.”
“Both companies have different formulas,” he noted. “But with a customer like Air Methods, it all comes together under one team.”
The Salus connection has allowed Heli-Parts Nevada to increase its inventory base even further, while boosting its innovative Engine Power on Demand (EPOD) and Component Power on Demand (CPOD) leasing programs.
Both programs provide customers with fixed hourly direct operating costs, 24-hour customer service and support with no surprise costs or unexpected capital expenditures. In the case of EPOD, the program provides leasing for Safran Arriel 1B, 1D1, 1D, 2B and 2B1 engines.
“It’s a system where you fly 10 hours, you literally pay for 10 hours,” said Lok. “We allow you to have our engines or our components, and you pay for just what you utilize. It’s really a good program for a company of any size.
“It prevents them from having to put up all this money up front, like they would for an OEM program.”
Over the next 10 years, Heli-Parts Nevada aims to continue to prove to industry that there’s an alternative means of maintaining aircraft by providing alternate quality sources of supply without the price tag, and providing engine leasing solutions without huge up-front costs.
“It’s a fantastic model. It’s a valuable product offering, and we think over the next 10 years it’s really about keeping the formula,” said Edmonds. “It’s about continuing those foundations upon which the group has been built.”
Lok wholeheartedly agrees, noting the company’s plan to remain lean and agile, and to retain expert staff with a deep understanding of the issues that helicopter operators face each day.
“Anybody who answers the phone at HPN can give you the detailed answers you need,” he said. He also notes that the company’s on-site paint shop and repairs facility are both major differentiators compared to many parts and leasing providers.
“We have a repair station that’s both [FAA] and EASA certified,” he said. “So we can facilitate repair solutions for pretty much everybody in the world, and importantly within their required budget.”
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