FEAM Aero's Growth Mindset

April 14, 2022
FEAM Aero saw tremendous growth during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the e-commerce boom. The company made strategic developments in technology and training to keep up with this demand and attract and retain skilled maintenance professionals.

FEAM Aero, founded in 1992, provides line maintenance, on-wing AOG, and technical services to commercial airline operators and commercial cargo operators. Scott Diaz, vice president of business development and marketing, said the e-commerce boom, spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, led to huge growth for the company.

“80 percent of our customer base is cargo operators,” he noted. “Multiple cargo operators we serve work on behalf of Amazon, DHL, and some other logistics companies. Their growth has trickled down to us and translated to massive expansion. We’ve expanded line maintenance stations, added employees and capabilities, and opened new locations.”

Diaz said the company added between 250 and 300 employees in the last two years and is looking to hire 300-400 additional employees by the end of 2022. There’s just one big challenge: finding maintenance professionals during the Great Resignation. FEAM Aero recognized this issue and made developments in technology and training to retain and attract talent, while offering exceptional service to its customers.


The HoloLens is a mixed reality technology which allows two individuals to work on the same aircraft, even if they’re thousands of miles away from each other. This technology translates to cost savings for the customer and higher morale and confidence for FEAM Aero’s maintenance technicians, according to Diaz.

“We actually had a recent scenario where our director of AOG was wearing the HoloLens and communicating to a FEAM Aero AOG tech in a different part of the country and guiding this person on how to troubleshoot a specific system,” he said. “It was out of the scope of expertise for this one individual but he knew he could rely on someone else in another part of the country.”

FEAM Aero currently uses the HoloLens internally and has plans to roll it out to its customers in the future.

“The next phase would be where our customers’ field tech support would wear that and could guide our technicians on the field to repair a system or issue,” he mentioned, noting this offers huge benefits for the customer.

“This technology is helping our commitment to reducing recovery time. And it translates into cost savings, as well. Instead of the downtime of flying someone there to look face-to-face, they used the technology to reduce cost and recovery time. That’s a huge benefit to the customer – getting that aircraft back to the customer and producing revenue.”


Diaz mentioned a lot of the experienced maintenance professionals are leaving the industry and it’s a challenge to pass knowledge down to the new generation. The company added technology like the HoloLens to combat this issue, but that’s not the only improvement it’s made. Diaz said FEAM Aero dialed in its training programs to ensure its maintenance professionals do high quality work and stick around at the company for a long time.

“We really want to set up our employees for success. If you do that, their morale is much higher because they’re confident in what they’re doing. And that helps with retention and recruitment. If we see an employee that really wants to go above and beyond and has the aptitude and passion, we will put them into a higher level of training. This can be anywhere from two weeks to a month and it will give them a really good grasp of the systems that they’re working on to better troubleshoot and maintain the aircraft.”

FEAM Aero offers specialized training to its employees, and has some programs available for its airline customers, as well.

“We can provide anything from a level one or gen fam systems course and we can go as high as a level three or EASA B1 or B2 level training course,” Diaz said. “We do have our FAA 145-approved training program and we also have our EASA 147 training authorization.”

Current and Future Growth

FEAM Aero added new locations during its period of rapid growth and it won’t slow down anytime soon. The company recently acquired a line maintenance operation in Europe, allowing it to service customers on both sides of the Atlantic. Diaz said FEAM Aero will keep expanding in Europe to offer a higher level of service to its customers.

“One vendor that can support them in the US and across the pond in Europe saves our customers from the headache of multiple vendors. When things go south with a major AOG situation, they can lean on FEAM Aero for that added insurance protection for the on-wing AOG group. We can deploy teams within the US and in Europe – wherever the need is. We’ll have boots on the ground anywhere between eight to 24 hours,” he concluded, mentioning the company can currently support six simultaneous AOG deployments.

How will the company support this growth when there’s a massive shortage of maintenance individuals? In addition to its expansive training programs, Diaz said FEAM Aero employs a rigorous recruiting process to gain talent.

“There is a challenge – it’s not a secret,” he mentioned. “FEAM Aero has seen it, recognized it, and is adapting to the challenge of not only finding the best in the industry but also promoting the industry to candidates who would work well in the industry. We have gone above and beyond in terms of wages. We have improved our benefits package that includes 401k matching. Our culture is more family-oriented and we try to be as flexible as possible to the needs of our employees. They are our most important asset; we try to promote that culture up and down the ranks.”

Diaz also mentioned FEAM Aero hired a full-time team to help with the recruiting process.

“We just brought in a brand new director of recruiting based on the East Coast and we are now actively going to A&P schools, going through recruitment and job fairs, and we’re going to high schools and advocating for our industry. You've got a shortage and a high demand and FEAM Aero has no choice but to be proactive in this space and think outside of the box. I think we’ve done a good job but there’s a lot of room for improvement. With this new recruitment team we are positioning ourselves to be more competitive in attracting the next wave of talent and candidates to the industry.”