Regional aircraft maintenance: a center of expertise at Safran Landing Systems
APRO's facility in the United-States(joint venture with Dassault Falcon jets) and Safran Landing Systems' facility in Dinard (Brittany, western France) provides maintenance services for landing gear, hydraulic equipment and wheels and brakes in the Europe-Africa zone, specializing in regional and business aircraft, as well as helicopters. We asked plant general manager Pascal Reverseau to tell us a bit more about the regional aircraft segment.
How would you describe your regional aircraft support business?
We carry out general overhauls for about one hundred regional aircraft landing gear systems a year at our plant, located at the Dinard international airport in Brittany. Some 60 skilled trade workers handle the three key components of landing systems, namely the landing gear itself, hydraulics and wheels and brakes. Their jobs include parts machining and refurbishment, non-destructive testing and surface treatment. This work entails a total of 1,200 to 1,500 different parts. We have about 50 customers in our zone, which encompasses Europe and Africa.
Who are these customers and what do they expect from you?
They're generally small carriers that really need local support, since they often don't have the infrastructure to carry out their own maintenance and repair operations. We provide daily support, with a focus on dispatch reliability and flexibility. For instance, we carefully track their equipment history, and we react very quickly when they need spare parts, whether for an overhaul or other service. Both our technical and sales teams aim to provide the most cost-effective technical assistance possible.
What are the daily challenges faced by your team?
Our primary concern is of course customer satisfaction, and we put all of our energy into achieving this goal. We also continually raise our level of expertise by capitalizing on shared experience. The aim is of course to improve the workflows for landing systems and spare parts, improve competitiveness and reduce the time planes are grounded.
Could you give us a specific example of how you work?
A regional airlines called us one weekend to replace a shock strut on one of their aircraft. To keep the airline from experiencing operational delays, we immediately performed a standard replacement, and we repaired the part in question. Mission accomplished – they didn't have to change their flight schedule!