Aircraft is a heavy investment and needs more intensive care than any other mode of communication. Aircraft MRO has become a booming business in itself. According to some reports, the MRO business is expected to grow at more than 4% CAGR. The same reports also suggest the market to reach over $100 billion in worth by 2025.
This global business is gaining a lot of popularity, and new contenders are stepping into the market. As much as this may sound relieving to many, this growing market competition can be overwhelming for some.
For aviation companies with a vast fleet, more competitors mean better pricing and services. Whereas, for individual or private aircraft owners, this could be problematic as it would be more challenging to find the right MRO for their purpose.
Nonetheless, we are here to help. In this article, you'll find all the essential tips to get the right MRO services for your single-engine aircraft.
Evaluating Non-Technical Skills of MRO Provider
When selecting an MRO provider for your single-engine plane, your priorities could be technical. However, it is also worth mentioning that technical inspections are not your forte. Perhaps, you are better at flying an aircraft or, let's say, relaxing in one.
So, rather than focusing on the technical skills, you need to focus on other skills too. No, we're not suggesting that you completely overlook the technical abilities of your MRO provider. But, rather than trying to test their technical knowledge, you can quickly test their non-technical skills. To put this into perspective, the quality of service and turnaround time is still essential. You would need your MRO provider to be efficient and promising in the work they do.
Some of the non-technical skills that you should consider include:
A good MRO provider would undoubtedly be transparent with their quotes. The details of “what's wrong and why,” “what needs to be done and how” are some of the easy questions that your MRO should be able to answer. Besides, they should also give you precise pricing details, including labor, consumables, and replacement parts.
Usually, the MROs working with more prominent brands work very slowly, following the company's procedures. However, they should still be able to tackle any emerging situation at hand. In other words, your MRO should be competent enough to make quick decisions and solve problems as they emerge.
Although it is a no-brainer, still its importance while searching for an MRO cannot be overlooked. To put it simply, the better the communication between you and your MRO provider, the lesser would be the lead times. For example, if a unit or part is delayed in delivery, they should communicate it to you unhesitantly.
Another essential thing to assess is customer service. Since MROs are service-based businesses, their customer experience would decide their success. For example, are they skilled to handle component repair tasks and have communicated this to you before taking up the job? You should be able to check for other things, too, like how quickly they respond to your query or are they able to give you the appropriate information.
After you're clear about what you require, you need to lay it out on a contractual agreement. The agreement should include all the descriptions of time, frequency of service, pricing, and payments. It is better to draft a Memorandum of Understanding to share it with your MRO provider. Besides, your MRO provider should also be licensed by the authorities. You wouldn't want to be strangled with an unauthorized service provider, as it could void your insurance coverage and may also lead you into other legal troubles.
Evaluating Technical Skills
Although the license assures that an MRO provider has the minimum required technical know-how of aircraft, it still does not guarantee that the MRO provider is skilled in your particular make or model. It is worth mentioning that every make and model is different, and so are its maintenance requirements.
So, you also need to evaluate if your MRO provider is technically equipped to handle your single-engine plane.
Ask for Referrals
One of the best ways to find a technically sound MRO provider is to seek referrals. You'd probably know a friend or a relative who owns a similar plane as yours. Or you can even check with the hangar caretakers. They might be able to refer you to a MRO provider who is skilled in handling your particular make and model.
Once you have contacts for MRO providers, you need to evaluate their qualifications further. As with any profession, MRO providers also need to update their knowledge and skills constantly. They are also required to appear for federal and state tests to conform to the new technologies. And indeed, if your MRO provider has excelled in their academics, they are undoubtedly qualified enough to handle your single-engine plane.
Inquire about Internal Processes
Last but not least is to inquire about the internal processing of your MRO provider. A good MRO company would usually document every detail about the projects they take up. From initial quotes to tasks done, discrepancies, and remedies, everything should be recorded. If needed, documentation can help track and resolve any disputes down the line.
As already mentioned, airplanes do not come cheap, regardless of their size. And when you own one, you would want to keep it as maintained as possible. Flying on an airplane is not only a means of commuting but also a fun sport. But, undermaintained or unmaintained planes can endanger both - safety and fun. Thus, in all your conscience, you need to find an MRO provider that suits your requirements and fits your budget as well.
The tips mentioned above are generic and apply to all sorts of aircraft. You need to mold them according to your needs. And make sure that your MRO provider is all that they claim to be and nothing less. In the end, we wish you all the best with your search.