Most people don’t think about it much, but there is a very important and not often talked about service that Duncan Aviation provides for those who require it. This special and sensitive work is performed for the United States military, defense contractors and foreign governments. Most of the work is performed under Non-Disclosure Agreements in order to protect the customer’s proprietary data. Although there are few details we can share, what we can tell you is that it is exciting and interesting.
Duncan Aviation’s Government and Special Programs Office (G&SPO) has been diligently working for several years in the complex world of aircraft systems integration, airframe maintenance and modification programs. It is an ISO 9000:2001 compliant team with the depth of knowledge, years of experience and technical know-how that is consistently called into active duty by some of the leading international aerospace and defense organizations from around the world.
Programs are generally long-term engagements that may contain several aircraft projects with strictly enforced contracts, schedules, guidelines and reporting requirements. Program Managers monitor and control the interdependencies between each aircraft project, overseeing contractual requirements and addressing any escalating issues that could compromise the entire Program. They work closely with Duncan Aviation’s team of Project Managers for individual aircraft project oversight. Though each aircraft delivered over the period of the contract is a milestone, the true deliverable is at the completion of the Program when all customer expectations have been met.
Long-term G&SPO contracts provide for all necessary airframe inspections, engine maintenance and full paint and interior services for several makes and model aircraft. Additional support includes components, accessories and avionics overhaul, maintenance tracking, tool control and Foreign Objects and Debris (FOD) programs.
Much of the special systems technology that is integrated into government aircraft is extremely complex. It combines elements from more than one system: electronic, electrical, mechanical and structural; each depending on the other in order to perform at peak proficiency. Flight Inspection System (FIS) is an example of special systems integration.
Airports worldwide use navigation aids or antennae to transmit airport signals to incoming aircraft for safe approaches and departures. It is the airport’s responsibility to ensure all transmitted information is accurate and they are required to have the airfields calibrated and measured using aircraft equipped with integrated FIS technology. Duncan Aviation partners with the majority of FIS manufacturers, integrating their technologies aboard several makes and models of aircraft.
Before Duncan Aviation performs any airframe service or complicated integration, we first must prove we meet stringent contractual requirements, such as security. We realize that all our customers value security and we pride ourselves on being discreet and secure. When working for governments and government contractors, however, security is one of the highest priorities and is, understandably, even more stringent than that required for other customers. For this very reason, Duncan Aviation places all G&SPO aircraft in a limited-access area where only a small number of personnel are allowed to have access and knowledge of the sensitive integrated technology. These team members receive special training and, by signing each Program contract, we submit ourselves to being audited by all the governments we are working for, allowing them free access to the company.
In addition to those performing the work, Duncan Aviation has a full staff of systems and structural engineers that support our Government and Special Programs services. This in-house capability eliminates the time and expense necessary to locate an outside engineering firm that has both the capabilities and clearance required to work on government programs. In addition to the on-site engineering support, Duncan Aviation holds an Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) appointment by the FAA. This allows Duncan Aviation to represent the FAA’s final authority and, with a signature, certify the final product to be in compliance according to the law, meeting all safety requirements.
Because of the nature of our work and the number of special equipment manufacturers we contract with, we are in a unique position of having a thorough understanding of several systems. We take that responsibility very seriously and willingly sign all Non-Disclosure Agreements.
We can neither advertise nor publicly celebrate the excellent work performed by Duncan Aviation’s Government and Special Programs teams. But true to the Duncan Aviation culture, each team member takes pride in his or her work, meeting all contract requirements to deliver every Program on time and on budget.
Prior to signing a contract with the customer, we conduct a site survey at the aircraft’s location, wherever in the world that may be. Site surveys put Duncan Aviation experts in the aircraft and in front of the customers. This team consists of engineers, Program Managers, maintenance technicians and sales representatives who conduct a thorough tip-totail analysis of the aircraft, examining every detail. By the end, they will have a thorough understanding of the customer’s expectations and be able to accurately identify and recommend all necessary inspections, services or modifications, including any special mission equipment.