Aircraft overhaul and Maintenance Company undergoes expansion
Over the past decade, JD Aero Technical, an aircraft overhaul and Maintenance Company has undergone expansion three times, with the latest one being in a bid to construct new offices and expand the storage spaces of the two old hangars. This will enable the company to create new jobs and serve more clients at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport. Currently, this company has been providing maintenance, repair and overhaul services to a wide range of airlines with their specialty being in ERJ, CRJ and Dash 8 series aircrafts. The maintenance section offers maintenance, inspection and management services for airlines.
This latest project is set to begin this summer and the budget is set at $6 million. By April this year, the company had managed to secure $250,000 after making a request to the Economic Development Fund (EDF) agency, while receiving a $1.8 million pledge. According to a co-owner of JD Aero, Don McNabb, this expansion became necessary after the company secured new clients including the Horizon Airlines and the WestJet Encore. This is after the recent completion of expansion and renovation of the terminal.
JD Aero is fully capable of servicing other aircrafts but the expansion is necessary to accommodate the new clients’ Bombardier aircraft. This company has been undergoing expansion over the years, having started with 3 employees in 2007 and now has 75 workers, both contract and full-time. McNabb further adds that this expansion will see the recruitment of more workers, raising the number to approximately 100. JD Aero is proud of the fact that since the beginning of its operation, they have never laid off anybody.
The company’s contract to repair the Bombardier must have been a major influence in their decision to fly commercially to and from Sault airport. This is hopefully going to be the case after signing up with WestJet who have hubs in quite a number of cities.
The Hangar expansion is set to be complete by the fall and it with it, JD Aero will be in a position to service four aircrafts simultaneously, which means an extra of one aircraft accommodation space. Bearing in mind that most carriers prefer having as many aircrafts as possible in the air during summer, this is usually a slow period to carry out a heavy maintenance.
This therefore gives JD Aero a major opportunity to complete their expansion during this slow maintenance period. This is because the company will be working on just a single aircraft at a time, unlike the winter season where they have to operate on three airlines simultaneously.
The expansion project is expected to be undertaken in three phases. The first phase will involve relocation of the office and store area with the addition of a new planning room. This phase has already been funded and construction is already underway. The second phase, which is expected to begin mid-June will involve the expansion of the current hangar space so as to accommodate an extra hangar and airplane. Finally, the third phase will involve the expansion of the apron area and the parking area and the tender for this phase was offered early this month. If all the plans go well, the entire process is expected to be complete by early November.