Duncan Aviation is a full-service MRO providing every aircraft service operators need to have. These services include major and minor airframe inspections, engine maintenance, major retrofits for cabin and cockpit systems, full paint and interior services and pre-owned aircraft sales and acquisitions. Duncan Aviation also has international aircraft components solutions experts available every day of the year via a single telephone number (+1 402.475.4125).
They are able to handle any aircraft system problem with immediate exchanges, rotables, loaners or avionics/instrument/accessory repairs and overhauls. Complete service facilities are located in Lincoln, (Nebraska), and Battle Creek (Michigan). Additional locations include Provo, Utah, and more than 20 other facilities strategically located throughout the United States to provide customers with local support and the quickest response to avionics, engine and airframe Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situations.
Q: What is the ‘people culture’ at Duncan Aviation that enables you to continue to deliver top-quality services?
A: We take great pride in hiring the right people. The atmosphere combines friendly people who enjoy what they do with strong technical aptitude and a desire to continually improve. The company is very responsive to customers while maintaining balance for team members.
Q: How long has your organisation been in the MRO arena?
A: Duncan Aviation celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2016. Donald Duncan founded the company in 1956 when he acquired a Beech distributorship in Omaha, Nebraska. We moved the company to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1963 and began expanding services almost immediately. By 1981, we were not only providing extensive maintenance work on airframe and engines and performing avionics installations, we were painting exteriors and performing completions. Today, we have more than 2,150 team members located at more than 25 facilities in the United States. These locations include two full-service MROs in Lincoln and Battle Creek, Michigan, and a facility in Provo, Utah, that also performs extensive MRO services. The other facilities provide avionics line and installation and serve as launch offices for our engine Rapid Response teams, which provide AOG services worldwide for operators needing engine assistance. We support the most popular business aircraft flying today, including those manufactured by Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer, Gulfstream, and Textron.
Q: What are the basic requirements for a high-quality MRO operation?
A: The basics that ensure a high-quality MRO operation are really no different than they are in other business environments. We listen to customers to determine exactly what they need and then we respond to meet those needs. We communicate with them openly from quoting through project completion and we strive to meet the projected aircraft out dates while keeping the project within budget.
Q: How do you keep up quality assurance?
A: Quality starts with ensuring that the right people are hired at Duncan Aviation and that they are in the right jobs. Training begins on day one with several days of orientation that expose them to the company culture and processes. All technicians receive annual training based on their needs, the company’s needs and their preferred career paths. Technical positions have levels where pay is tied to their education and performance. And all company members are encouraged to participate in LEAN initiatives and innovative thinking that solves issues and makes work more efficient and higher quality.
Q: Do you look to multi-skill your engineers across a variety of aircraft types or do you have some specialist sections?
A: We provide nose-to-tail services across a variety of aircraft types. To ensure quality and efficiency are at their highest, technicians do require a certain amount of specialisation. Our airframe technicians belong to teams that have a main airframe type and a back-up type. For example, a technician might be part of a Falcon team with a secondary specialisation in Gulfstream aircraft. Because of the wide variety of services we provide, specialisation in aircraft models and service types is necessary.
Q: What about owner/operator education?
A: It is very easy for an owner to fall into the trap of laying up the aircraft when they get strapped for cash and not doing the standard maintenance checks, which lays them open to huge expense to get airworthy again.
Much of what we do could fall into the operator education category. We strive to share information within the industry, thus raising the expectations for all operators and the bar for all service providers. For example, we publish straight talk books written by our technical experts that help explain things like NextGen and ADS-B to operators in plain English.
Q: MRO is a very competitive market; how do you get loyalty from your customer base?
A: You are correct. MRO has become more and more competitive over the last few years. However, we believe that the business is mainly relationship-based. We have great people who perform excellent work. They develop partnerships and friendships with our clients by serving them well and helping them do a great job for their respective companies. And if there is an issue, we do the right thing for the customer. Those behaviours are the best way to ensure customers remain loyal