Reflecting on the last 10 years, Duncan Aviation has achieved multiple improvements in service and processes. We have added capabilities, opened new locations and developed our established facilities and teams. Looking to the next 10 years, plans for further expansion are certain. Each Duncan Aviation facility is growing, planning for the future and looking at how we can best support our customers and the next generation of aircraft for years to come.
As each location develops, customers can be sure that their experience remains the same. Whether visiting Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; Provo, Utah; or any of Duncan Aviation’s more than 25 satellite locations, the customer service and experience that has made Duncan Aviation unlike any other remains the same.
We look forward to continuing to provide customers with the highest possible quality, attention to detail and safety for their aircraft. We have come to understand that the choice of Duncan Aviation facility is never a decision of quality, but rather a decision based on efficiency for the customer and distance for the aircraft.
Planning began in spring 2010 for a new paint facility in Lincoln. “During strategic planning and analysis, we looked ahead at deliveries and projected maintenance and modification events,” says Jeff Lake, Chief Operating Officer in Lincoln. “We saw an increase in larger, long-range aircraft hitting our market and coming due for maintenance events. With eight years of operation underway, these aircraft would likely be looking for paint and interior refurbishment as well.”
"WITH THE NEW PAINT FACILITY, WE HAVE DOUBLED OUR CAPACITY FOR LARGE PROJECTS TO 52 PER YEAR.”
- Doug Bohac, Paint Services Manager
At that time, paint bays in Lincoln would not hold these ultra large aircraft. Jeff says it was time to expand paint service and capabilities and says that additional opportunities for technology advances were expected to increase efficiency and quality for core aircraft as well.
The construction took 13 months to complete and in May of 2012, the new 45,000-square-foot paint facility opened. It now provides space for large and ultra large aircraft and has meant more flexibility not only with paint scheduling, but aircraft scheduling throughout Duncan Aviation.
Doug Bohac, Paint Services Manager in Lincoln, explains, “Before the facility, we were scheduling around 52 small-tomedium paint projects and 26 large jobs annually. With the new facility, we have doubled our capacity for large projects to 52 per year.”
The new facility offers customers even higher paint quality through state-of-the-art technology, such as down-draft airf low technology, automatic monitoring and alarms. Efficiency is increased through multiple bays and curtains that allow teams to perform stripping, sanding, painting and detail work on multiple aircraft simultaneously.
As a result of the paint service expansion in Lincoln, there has been a careful and steady increase in team members dedicated to paint services. “We have gone from 55 to 65 paint experts with plans to reach 70 specialists by the end of the year,” says Doug.
The schedule for paint in Lincoln is strong. The teams completed paint on a GV in July and the schedule shows limited slots available through the end of the year. The two new paint bays extend our capacity, but have not replaced the existing bays.
Just prior to the paint facility being built, Lincoln’s two main paint bays were renovated and cleaned. Those two bays will continue to help support paint service and schedule. The third bay will be renovated in the near future and become Lincoln’s new Ground Support Equipment (GSE) hub, which in turn will create expansion in our Landing Gear and Accessories area.
Additions and renovations are not new to Duncan Aviation. For the past 56 years, we have learned that with each expansion event, a domino effect of shifts and remodels occurs, offering even more chances to capitalize on efficiency gains, make improvements to the facility and offer new opportunities for our people.
In recent years, Duncan Aviation has developed specific teams for CNC fabrications, specialized Engineering and Certification services and production planning groups. We continue to take advantage of all that technology can offer us, by transition to an electronic work order system and many other paperless applications.
Additions to our Operation Specifications for Global, Challenger 300, Gulfstream IV and V and Falcon 7X proves that Duncan Aviation is looking to the future. Our team members continue education so that these newer large airframes can quickly become an addition to what we refer to as our core market of expertise.
Each team expansion, new team development or innovative system keeps the customers’ needs in mind. With the authorization of Duncan Aviation’s ODA in 2009, the approval process for STCs and MRAs has been greatly enhanced.
myDuncan.aero continues to evolve, offering off-site customers the chance to approve squawks and review job status reports and production hours.
The hangar expansion in early 2000 provided the first designated customer lounge and office area for customers who decide to spend their maintenance event on location. Due to limited space, an expansion of customer office space is currently underway, adding around eight additional office spaces. “We find that customers enjoy staying here, working with the teams and being involved in the process,” says Jeff.