J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Airframe and Avionics Are Critical in Providing Business Aircraft Owners and Operators With a Positive Ownership Experience

The airframe and avionics suite, which are both crucial in operating an aircraft safely and efficiently, play a key role in aircraft owner and operator satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Business Aviation Satisfaction Study.


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The airframe and avionics suite, which are both crucial in operating an aircraft safely and efficiently, play a key role in aircraft owner and operator satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Business Aviation Satisfaction Study(SM)released today. This study, an industry first, is conducted in association with AVIATION WEEK's Business & Commercial Aviation (B/CA) magazine, which is the leading provider of operational, management and safety information for the business aviation community. J.D. Power and Associates and AVIATION WEEK are business units of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

The inaugural study examines the overall satisfaction of business aircraft owners and operators of fixed-wing, turbine-powered and pressurized-cabin aircrafts produced within the past 20 years. Overall satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale. The study includes three areas of focus: airframes,avionics and engine.

"B/CA and J.D. Power and Associates have captured the voice of the customer in the business aviation community," said Tom Henricks , president of AVIATION WEEK. "Aircraft, engine and avionics manufacturers will greatly benefit from this valuable insight."

Airframe Satisfaction

Overall satisfaction with the airframe is based on seven key factors. In order of importance, they are: maintenance; flight performance; warranty; flight deck; exterior; interior; and major systems. Overall satisfaction with the aircraft ownership experience is primarily driven by the airframe, which represents 52 percent of the satisfaction index.

The study finds that nearly 70 percent of owners and operators are actively involved in the purchase/lease of their business aircraft. These customers are more satisfied with their overall airframe experience compared to those who are not a part of the purchase/lease process (an airframe satisfaction index score of 737 points vs. 693 points, respectively).Customers who purchased or leased a new aircraft also tend to be moresatisfied than those purchasing or leasing a used model.

Avionics Satisfaction

Quality of the equipment drives overall satisfaction with the avionics suite, which includes electronic components and flight controls. Avionics quality represents 42 percent of the avionics satisfaction index score,followed by maintenance and warranty. The onboard weather radar, electronic displays and flight management systems have the largest impact on customer satisfaction with avionics quality.

"As avionics capabilities become more advanced, business aircraft owners and operators are demanding higher standards for performance, reliability and product support," said Jim Gaz, senior director of the travel practice at J.D.Power and Associates. "They need near-perfect dispatch reliability to get their passengers to business appointments safely, and on time."

Engine Satisfaction

Among engine factors that drive overall satisfaction, quality has the most significant impact, accounting for 35 percent of the engine satisfaction index score. Specifically, the length of time between engine inspections in largepart drives satisfaction with engine quality among aircraft owners and operators.

"By expanding the time between major maintenance intervals, manufacturers can drive down overall operating costs," said Gaz. "Manufacturers have been particularly successful in implementing this strategy with turbine engines,which adds to its benefits."

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