Nearly five years ago, Duncan Aviation customers asked for an additional nose-to-tail aircraft support facility in the western part of the United States. A site selection committee was formed and sent forth to find the perfect location, one that emulated the communities and work ethic surrounding our Nebraska and Michigan facilities. In 2007, Duncan Aviation announced that Provo, Utah, was the spot for Duncan Aviation's third full-service aircraft support facility.
A lot has changed since then. The economic plummet seen worldwide over the last 12 months certainly impacted those plans, as the initial vision went from a 125-team-member facility built from the ground up to a 20-team-member leased facility. The original vision is still in place; its timing has just been postponed. For customers looking forward to Duncan Aviation airframe maintenance in the western U.S., the planning and re-planning will culminate in the opening of Duncan Aviation-Provo this August.
Duncan Aviation has an agreement with Million Air-Provo to lease hangar space from Million Air at the Provo Municipal Airport. The leased hangar will give Duncan Aviation 15,000 feet of space, a hangar footprint that will allow the equivalent of four Learjets or one Challenger and two Lears at a time.
"This lease agreement allows Duncan Aviation to establish a maintenance service presence in Provo by August 2010 without requiring the expense of building a new hangar facility right now," says Todd Duncan, Chairman of Duncan Aviation. "It is still Duncan Aviation's long-term plan and desire to build a nose-to-tail support facility in Provo and we will continue to evaluate the market and the economy and will begin preparation for a larger expansion as soon as we believe the timing to be correct. In the meantime, the lease with Million Air is a perfect solution and we are proud to align with such a respected, forward-thinking company."
Bill Haberstock, CEO of Keystone Aviation, which owns and operates the Million Air-Provo facility, agrees, saying: "This is an opportunity for our operation to partner with one of the country's premier major repair and overhaul facilities and accelerate their entrance into this market. Since our first look at the Provo environment, we have believed in the potential of the airport. In these economic times, this kind of agreement can keep the growth in place and position both our companies positively for the recovery."
When Duncan Aviation-Provo opens its doors, it will have service center authorizations from both Bombardier and Embraer.
The facility will be a Bombardier Authorized Service Facility (ASF) for Learjet and Challenger aircraft as well as an Aircraft On Ground (AOG) Line Maintenance Facility (LMF) for Global aircraft.
As an Embraer Authorized Service Center, Duncan Aviation-Provo will provide support for the Embraer Legacy 600, Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 aircraft.
The Duncan Aviation team, which will consist of about 25 technicians experienced in Bombardier and Embraer aircraft, will provide full airframe services including major and minor hourly and calendar inspections as well as pre-purchase evaluations. Duncan Aviation-Provo will also offer line-level engine, avionics and interior support.
In order to ensure that business processes and practices are consistent at all of Duncan Aviation’s facilities and that customers have an experience at Duncan Aviation-Provo that is similar to the experience customers have when they visit Lincoln or Battle Creek, many of the Duncan Aviation-Provo team members will transfer from Nebraska or Michigan to Utah.
Some transfers have already been announced. They include the following:
Bill Prochazka, Executive VP and General Manager
Bill currently holds the same title at Duncan Aviation-Battle Creek and has more than 30 years of experience in aviation, including various positions at Gates Learjet and Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita. In Provo, his responsibilities will include general oversight of day-to-day operations and repair station requirements.
Mike Griffiths, Production Team Leader
Mike is a native of Wyoming who joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school. Upon discharge, he earned his A&P License and joined the Duncan Aviation team in 1983. He began his Duncan Aviation career in the parts department and soon advanced to the airframe shop, working as a Mechanic, Lead Mechanic and Team Leader. Mike has been FlightSafety trained on the Lear 25, 35, 55, 60, Westwind 1124/1224A and Astra 1125/1125SPX.
Matt Cooper, Second Shift Supervisor
Matt is currently a Lead Mechanic on our Bombardier team in Battle Creek. He came to Duncan Aviation nearly six years ago from Bombardier Aviation Services in Indianapolis and has 11 years in the industry, with virtually all of that time focused on Lear and Challenger aircraft. Matt holds an associate’'s degree in aviation technology, is an A&P and has an extensive list of formal training on many of the airframes we will specialize in at Provo.
Mitch Robson, Weekend Shift Supervisor
Mitch is also from our Bombardier team in Battle Creek and has been with Duncan Aviation for nine years. Mitch came to Duncan Aviation from the Navy and has extensive training on Challenger 300s and 600s, including run qualification on the 604. He holds an A&P license and completed significant courses on structures and hydraulics while with the Navy. In addition to Matt’s Bombardier background, he brings significant experience in Citations ranging from the 525 through the X.
James Holmes, Lead Mechanic Engines
James has been with Duncan Aviation since his graduation from Colorado Aero Tech in 2001. He has worked in the Engine MPI Shop and the Engine Line area in Lincoln and, most recently, has been with Duncan Aviation’s Engine Rapid Response Team based in Florida. With this team, he has had the opportunity to serve customers around the world, traveling to places like Venezuela, the Turks and Caicos.
If you would like more information about the Provo facility or would like to be one of the first customers at Duncan Aviation-Provo, please call Alan Huggett in Battle Creek at 269.969.8400 or Brad Homeyer or Brad Lennemann in Lincoln at 402.475.2611.