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Planning an Aircraft Interior Refurbishment

July 2011

Oftentimes, planning for aircraft interior refurbishments is not always a priority for operators and delaying such planning can present undue opportunities that are preventable. Understanding the time and effort it takes for designers, engineers and support staff to provide customers with a package that represents their expectations is critical to the initial success of an interior refurbishment. By planning ahead, operators can be assured they are maximizing their service provider’s resources.

Accounting for material lead times is often under estimated. Typical material lead times can range anywhere from one to four weeks to procure; utilizing exotic materials will result in even longer lead times. The driver for common interior refurbishment schedules is carpet. Machine made carpet lead times range from four to eight weeks, handmade carpets range from eight to 12 weeks, and even longer in some circumstances. When given the opportunity, it is always beneficial to have materials on hand prior to the scheduled start date of an interior refurbishment. This allows service providers time to properly inspect materials for any flaws or imperfections. Having this availability up front allows service providers time to react to any potential material issues without impacting the downtime or schedule to the interior refurbishment.

When planning for interior refurbishment, consideration to the schedule of both the aircraft and service provider should be taken into account. Securing schedule at a service center months in advance will minimize the disruption to the aircraft and its operation. By securing schedule early, operators can be assured that they are maximizing their service center's available manpower, resulting in the most aggressive downtime. Most importantly, scheduling early will allow operators the luxury to schedule their refurbishment around their flight schedule. Being proactive and scheduling a refurbishment event during a time that complements an operator's flight schedule reduces the chances of having to react to the availability of their service provider’s openings.

Taking the time to prepare for an interior refurbishment insures the necessary time for operators to make informed decisions about the interior of their aircraft. Preplanning time allows designers the necessary time to creatively interact with operators so that their interior refurbishment directly reflects their expectations. As an interior refurbishment is typically completed about once every eight years, it is important that proper preplanning be implemented so that the result of an interior refurbishment represents the mission of either the operator or principal of the aircraft.

Preplanning for an interior refurbishment will reduce the anxiety of tight decision deadlines and create an environment that allows operators to enjoy the design process. Having adequate time to design, procure materials, and allocate manpower will undoubtedly assure the success of an interior refurbishment project, while minimizing the disruption to the schedule of the aircraft while it is out of service.

For more information on preplanning for an interior refurbishment, call a Duncan Aviation Interior expert.


DARLN Nate Darlington Vice President, Modifications and Completions, Battle Creek Battle Creek, MI (BTL) +1 269.969.8443

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