All too often, FBOs provide maintenance as a requirement of their airport’s FBO lease covenant, or to maintain the FBO’s aircraft charter and management fleet. In both cases, such an arrangement can have the unintended consequence of creating a maintenance department that acts in a supporting role, as opposed to one that is a fully-realized, profitable business unit unto itself. Certainly this was not the plan for the maintenance department when the doors were opened. Perhaps your MRO is brimming with young talent, eager but unable to implement best practices and process improvement, simply due to a lack of management expertise or mentorship.
To be sure, the “graying” of the MRO industry is a very real threat to the business; the average age of an FAA licensed mechanic is 51, with some 27% age 64 and above, according to a 2017 study by the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC). The shortage of technicians, arguably worse that the shortage of crewmembers, is impacting every single MRO in the country. In another study by Boeing, the commercial airlines alone will require almost 120,000 new technicians in the next 20 years. Compensation, liability, and working conditions are all factors where the demand for maintenance has outstripped the supply of available technicians- and their leaders are retiring in droves.
While a traditional answer is to recruit progressively more experienced candidates at ever-increasing wages due to a talent shortage, there is an alternative, and more cost-effective solution: FBO Partners. Be it business analysis and recommendations for profitability, mentorship of a young maintenance team, the implementation of best practices and process improvement, or marketing and sales to fill your MRO’s hangar, FBO Partners has the experience to seamlessly integrate solutions into your maintenance operation and light the path ahead.