The newly established maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company Avia Repair Co based at Lleida-Alguaire International Airport in Spain, will start its operations shortly. BAA Training is its founder and anchor client, but a more expanded customer and service portfolio are expected to follow over the next years. Initially, Avia Repair Co will be serving BAA Training‘s fleet of 22 aircraft – 11 single-engine Tecnam P2002, 2 multi-engine Tecnam P2006 and 9 single-engine Cessna 172. Meanwhile, Goncalo Antonio Nunes Penedo, appointed Director at Avia Repair Co, has agreed to share its vision and short-term and long-term goals.
Avia Repair Co has penetrated the Spanish MRO market. How does it plan to develop its operations?
Avia Repair is a new general aviation-focused MRO that needs to set a place in the Spanish market. This market still has some room for a new MRO like Avia Repair Co, mainly if we are focused on providing a good quality service at a competitive price.
At the beginning of Avia Repair Co‘s operations, its main client will be BAA Training. It has a growing fleet of Tecnams and Cessnas that will soon reach 23 aircraft in total. That said, the workload is already huge, and Avia Repair Co needs to gain momentum to accept external clients. Once we achieve that level, we will aim to have good quality service for a competitive price for our clients.
Employing an independent MRO ensures maintenance costs are controlled, and operations are optimized, allowing customers to decrease fleet inventory costs and improve maintenance downtimes.
What type of employees is Avia Repair Co looking for? Will you focus on finding highly qualified staff with previous on-the-job experience or training new hires to the expert level?
Ideally, we would be looking for experienced certifying staff and mechanics with several years of general aviation experience.
One of BAA Training‘s missions is to help young specialists find their place in the job market and make an impact on the Spanish aviation sector, creating jobs for people with a technical background. Therefore, in addition to striving to find technicians with high qualifications (there is a massive shortage of those), we will also take trainees.
The trainees in question will be coming from a Part 147 training organization recently installed in Lleida airport. Once we start our operations, Avia Repair Co will agree with this Part 147 to provide on-the-job training to new mechanics and Part 66 B1.2 students. We will later aim to hire some of those students and provide additional training, allowing them to reach the certifying staff level.
Will it be a challenge for Avia Repair Co to comply with the regulation as it is only making its first steps as a company?
Starting a new company focused on aircraft maintenance and airworthiness management is always a challenge, and of course, the regulations are our guidelines. Fortunately, we have staff with extensive experience in this field, and we are also providing additional rigorous training as necessary.
Avia Repair Co will be a Combined Airworthiness Organization (CAO), a brand new annex to EASA regulations. It gives us the possibility to develop an approved organization manual (CAE) that describes our approved procedures to maintain aircraft and control the airworthiness for the planes that we will include in our scope.
How will Avia Repair Co ensure supply of hard-to-find spare parts, etc.?
Nowadays, the supply in a short time is difficult to find for a couple of reasons. First of all, some manufacturers are producing fewer parts due to Covid 19 limitations. Secondly, the spare parts coming from the UK are currently being delayed on the customs.
To resolve these issues, we are now planning the parts consumption two months in advance. Moreover, an intelligent software system can be of great help to control a minimum stock of parts. Together with the BAA Training team that designed an intelligent business and training management system, Momook, we are in the process of creating a more innovative warehouse control. Also, it is necessary to have good partnerships with suppliers and find new projects.
Avia Repair Co is a part of the Avia Solutions Group (ASG) that encompasses other maintenance organizations, which also plays a significant role. Jet MS, for instance, is starting a project to deliver general aviation parts at short notice and at very competitive prices. Avia Repair Co will help with implementing this project in Spain and, at the same time, will take advantage of such a partnership to ensure a good delivery of parts.
What kind of customers will the company target and through which channels?
For the moment, the main client will be BAA Training. The fleet is numerous and keeps growing, so the workload is intense. But, of course, Avia Repair will focus on working with external clients like private owners, flight schools and aeroclubs, gradually gaining a competitive edge in the industry.
According to the business expansion, one of the first steps will be to become a Tecnam service centre and move forward with manufacturers’ agreements. That will give us visibility, for sure.
The aviation world is not as big as it seems, and I believe, if we can provide a good quality service, the clients will reach us.
How did the need for establishing an MRO arise?
BAA Training used to have a maintenance department before. However, as it started expanding rapidly in terms of fleet and operations, the need to create a strong MRO that can ensure timely and high-level maintenance services became evident. It will also bring added value for the whole Avia Solutions Group, which it will be a part of.
For BAA Training, having a dedicated MRO will mean costs reduction, better control of the status of its fleet, and increased quality of the maintenance, which results in flight safety.
Currently, Avia Repair Co is finalizing the formalities and is expected to start its operations as a juridical entity and a certified MRO by the end of September. The initial request has already been submitted to EASA and it’s now a matter of time before it gets legal rights and responsibilities.