Todd and Connie Duncan with their twin sons Harrison (left) and PK (right).
Investing. It’s a bit of a gamble, but if done well, the rewards are worth the risks. At Duncan Aviation, we invest in our facilities and our people. We know those key elements lead to an incredible customer experience.
As part of our strategic plan, we invested $100 million in updating and improving our facilities during the past 10 years and plan to invest another $100 million during the next decade.
Two years ago, customer requests and the trend toward larger, long-range business jets resulted in the building of a larger, more modern paint facility. Once it was complete, we considered our maintenance hangars. They were full. Actually, they were bursting at the seams. We knew we needed more space to meet customer demand.
So we built an additional hangar facility. Yes, it was a huge investment during a time when the economy wasn’t booming. Yes, it was a bit risky. Yes, we chose materials that would make the facility environmentally responsible.
The first hangar bay opened in January. The second was complete in May. Since then, the new hangars have been full of large business jets while our recently updated older hangars still service the light and very light jets. It’s already apparent the addition was vital to remain flexible enough to provide services for our customers.
In order to provide the best customer service, we also need to invest in our people. By providing a great work culture, maintaining a focus on wellness and safety and investing in the proper training, our team members will benefit professionally and personally. They will also make careers at Duncan Aviation and provide a wealth of knowledge and experience to our customers that they simply can’t find elsewhere.
So far, that belief has worked, evidenced by the fact that we have 245 people in our Silver Wings Club, which honors those who have dedicated 25 or more years to the company.
In order to provide top-notch service, we need to be up-to-date on all aircraft training. That technical training accounts for a large portion of our training budget. The rest is dedicated to training leaders, helping our team members move into new, more diversified roles and broaden their knowledge.
Besides the traditional technical and “soft skills” training, we have a subsidy program that reimburses team members for some of the expenses they occur when obtaining private pilot licenses and instrument ratings. After all, Duncan Aviation was founded with a passion for flight, and we want team members interested in flying to have the opportunity to do so.
When I reflect on the business we have built around our passion for aviation, I see proud team members, an immaculate facility and customers who love their experience so much that they refer friends and colleagues. That tells me we are doing the right thing. We will continue that tradition, because we are Duncan Aviation.