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The world’s leading maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider is celebrating the successful completion of its new centers of excellence.
In the summer of 2020, StandardAero completed a strategic transition to optimize its worldwide operations. This transition, completed in July, resulted in the consolidation of three dedicated Centers of Excellence (COEs) to streamline its helicopter engine and airframe MRO services.
“The early completion of our COEs was a key element to ensure organizational efficiency,” said Claus Eisenschmid, vice-president and general manager of the StandardAero COE in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“It increases our capability to respond more effectively to the dynamic and uncertain market conditions that currently affect customers’ operations anywhere in the world. Our overall strategy and commitment is to be the most trusted partner for MRO services.”
Now, with an eye trained on a heritage that stretches back over a century, StandardAero is positioned to enhance its long-standing reputation for service excellence and responsive customer support.
The company’s roots are at its new COE in Winnipeg, where its team of 300 highly trained technicians focuses on helicopter turbine maintenance and overhaul.
No one has a better understanding of the Winnipeg operation — and the needs of StandardAero’s customers — than Brian Hughes, vice president of sales and marketing for helicopter programs. Hughes has been with the company for over 40 years, having started on the shop floor as a technician.
“In Winnipeg, we have four engine lines for the Safran Arriel 1 and Arriel 2, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T, the Rolls-Royce M250, and Rolls-Royce RR300,” said Hughes. “To support those lines, there are engine test cells for each of these powerplants and component repair facilities.”
The Winnipeg COE can support more than 500 engines and engine components per year, driven by technicians and engineers who have a deep and dedicated understanding of the powerplants entrusted to them. Couple that with a personal connection to their customers, and it’s clear why StandardAero is an MRO leader.
“Our customers know our technicians by name,” said Hughes. “They’re the ones who have been supporting engines across all of these product lines for years. Customers can feel confident in knowing who is servicing their engine, and they trust the quality of the work they will receive, which is why they continue coming back to us.”
Meanwhile, 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Vancouver, StandardAero’s facility in Langley, British Columbia, has been established as the COE for helicopter airframe MRO and STC development.
“Previously, we had four facilities at the Langley Airport,” said Elvis Moniz, vice-president of business development for avionics and airframe solutions, helicopter programs.
“As part of the transition to StandardAero [from Vector Aerospace], we consolidated into a state-of-the-art 84,000-square-foot [7,800-square-meter] facility.
“From the airframe perspective, we’ve been servicing Airbus products since the Aérospatiale days. We have extensive experience and product knowledge on virtually all popular legacy helicopter types, including those produced by Bell and Sikorsky.”
The skilled engineering team at the new Langley COE has been carefully chosen from the helicopter industry, a sector that has a long history in British Columbia. The aerospace hub around Vancouver is also a key driver for StandardAero’s ability to attract skilled and innovative talent.
That spirit of innovation is apparent in the Langley COE’s projects.
“Just last year alone, we’ve been successful in developing a new Bell 212 glass cockpit and have added Transport Canada to our growing list of crash-resistant fuel tank regulatory approvals,” said Moniz.
“One of our latest initiatives is to develop an advanced autopilot for Airbus H125/AS350 helicopters in partnership with Thales. It is another industry-leading occupant safety initiative that no one else has accomplished.”
By strategically aligning with helicopter airframe, engine and avionics OEMs, StandardAero benefits from the technology and experience of its partners.
“We’re continuing to do a lot of good out there in a concerted effort to make aviation safer in general,” said Moniz.
To add a layer of support to StandardAero’s COEs, a new 24,000-square-foot (2,230-square-meter) MRO facility was opened in November 2019 in the Metro Vancouver city of Richmond, British Columbia.
“After speaking with our customers, we felt it was a necessity to maintain a presence in Vancouver,” said Hughes.
Customers can feel confident in knowing who is servicing their engine, and they trust the quality of the work they will receive, which is why they continue coming back to us.”
“Customers can feel confident in knowing who is servicing their engine, and they trust the quality of the work they will receive, which is why they continue coming back to us.”Brian Hughes, vice president of sales and marketing for helicopter programs
The new shop supports machining, cleaning, painting and non-destructive testing for GE T700/CT7 engines, Rolls-Royce M250 engines and Airbus Helicopters dynamic components.
StandardAero has also established a COE in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, dedicated to fixed-wing MRO. The Summerside facility has a staff of 500 people and completed 1,000 Pratt & Whitney engine overhauls in 2019 alone.
The company’s European helicopter support network is focused on its two United Kingdom locations: Almondbank, Scotland, and its Fleetlands site in Gosport, England.
“We’re better leveraging their unique capabilities and tapping into the long history and experience they have in the region,” said Hughes.
The 270,000-square-foot (25,000-square-meter) Fleetlands facility possesses vast engine and airframe MRO capabilities across civil and military rotary- and fixed-wing platforms. It focuses on helicopter MRO support for the Airbus Super Puma and Sikorsky S-76, and has now added Sikorsky S-92 capabilities, as well.
In Singapore, StandardAero’s operation was transformed by combining its helicopter and fixed-wing MRO services into one large facility at Seletar Airport. This location provides Rolls-Royce authorized M250 engine support.
Meanwhile, StandardAero’s facility in Concord, North Carolina, remains dedicated to Rolls-Royce M250 engine MRO. That focus includes full service, parts support and annual U.S. Federal Aviation Administration/Transport Canada approved training courses.
As one of the world’s largest aviation MRO providers, StandardAero prides itself on its service excellence, a process that begins — and ends — by listening to its customers.
For more information, visit standardaero.com/heli, or call 1-204-318-7544.