Returning from the HAI Heli-Expo 2014 aboard a US Airways flight recently, I couldn’t help but speculate the eventual impact on airline maintainers and maintenance providers as the flight attendant mentioned, “thank you for flying US Airways, now part of the new American Airlines.” As the airline industry continues down the flight-path of consolidation how will the air transport segment of the MRO industry respond; or has it already responded?
Hong Kong-based HAECO’s recently announced its intention to acquire U.S.-based TIMCO. HAECO’s widebody capabilities and TIMCO’s narrowbody capabilities combined will create one of the world’s largest MRO airframe providers. Will we see more mega MRO mergers?
Whether a result of business changes due to airline consolidation, or simply the need to expand their capacity, Aviation Technical Services (ATS) headquartered in Everett, WA, in late December announced an agreement to lease a portion of the KCI Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Base at Kansas City International Airport. ATS plans to create more than 500 new jobs over the next three to five years with potential for double this number.
In this issue of Aircraft Maintenance Technology, Jerome Chandler discusses some of the trends we are seeing in the large aircraft MRO segment with interviews from key industry leaders. Eugene Gerden also explores the Russian MRO industry and describes how companies around the world are looking to gain a presence in this emerging market.
Of course where new aircraft maintenance technicians will come from to meet the demands of the industry is the subject for another time. But John Goglia asserts in his column this month, “the next 20 years and beyond look like good years to be an aircraft mechanic.”
The other recent announcement having an impact on the MRO industry you can read more about in this issue is the long-awaited TSA repair station security rule.
This month’s 25 Years: Then and Now feature looks at the avionics and electronics industry and the shift from straight-forward equipment installations to full integration of operating systems in today’s modern aircraft. As described in the article, the last 25 years has brought about the introduction of digital cockpits, digital cabins, and fully integrated aircraft systems. Advancements to avionics and electronics have been downright revolutionary.