December 13 2021  |  Cabin Maintenance

Turnkey aircraft modifications and mitigating risk in post-pandemic era

By Jayson Koblun

Don Wren, Executive Vice President, Jamco America

As airlines plan for the post-pandemic era, many are updating interiors. This week, Jamco America shared how airlines can mitigate risk as they reconfigure aircraft with dividers, bulkheads, and monuments — including closets, video control cabinets, lavatories, and premium seating. Jamco offers a complete set of turnkey modification products and services, giving the keys of a completed interior to an airline.

Jamco has as a suite of services at its facility in Everett, Washington, including fully staffed engineering, technical publications, manufacturing teams, testing capabilities — electrical, dynamic, thermal, acoustic, life cycle, and material strength — as well as an on-site Federal Aviation Authority Organization Designation Authorization (FAA ODA) certification department. This investment in commercial aerospace capabilities provides a turnkey experience that proactively mitigates risk, the company says.

The turnkey experience also helps reduce typical delays in the course of a program, such as testing failures, other certification compliance findings, manufacturing delays, and quality issues — sometimes late in a program.

787 galley turnkey project

Jamco America monitors its resource capacity using a variety of management tools to avoid overextending resources

“Yes, schedule delays are very often the biggest risk for airline customers during an aircraft interior modification program,” said Don Wren, Executive Vice President at Jamco America. “Any delays in the modification schedule can impact fleet maintenance planning and even route planning. Interior modifications are typically performed to prepare a number of aircraft for the introduction of a new route or to introduce a new class of service on existing routes. Both can be time-sensitive for the airline to remain competitive and meet commitments to their own customers and shareholders.”

If Jamco encounters a dynamic testing failure, having the testing facility and engineering team nearby allows the integration team to quickly react to resolve the issue, retest, and avoid impact to the program schedule, reads the press release.

Airlines can also use Jamco for isolated portions of the program. Jamco has experience in all aspects of an aircraft interior modification program, so it can provide more efficient and effective coordination compared to companies that do not have that level of experience or understanding. Plus, the company monitors its resource capacity using a variety of management tools to avoid overextending resources and to ensure it hasn't taken on too much work.

Jeremy Hunter, Director Sales and Marketing, Jamco America

Jeremy Hunter, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager, and answer questions about how airlines

"Aircraft interior modifications often include more than one supplier," said Jeremy Hunter, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager at Jamco. This can put a lot of pressure on the airline to manage roles and responsibilities of those involved, allowing more space for "problems to arise."

To avoid this, a turnkey integrator will oversee all the other supplier activities to ensure a unified schedule and work scope for the program.

"In effect, this integrator is the airline’s eyes and ears and will manage all technical milestones and deliverables. The integrator is an indispensable team leader who will assist the airline to overcome all hurdles along the way, and with unequivocal focus on staying on time, on budget, and at the highest quality," Hunter said.

For complex programs, the key to success is a highly qualified and experienced program manager. While there will always be challenges, experience and product maturity within a program will keep risk to a minimum. Understanding each applicable aircraft and the respective pre- and post-mod configurations will ensure the program can launch smoothly. When there are unknowns, decision gates must be set.

There are often major milestone meetings, for example, the initial technical coordination meeting, preliminary design review, and critical design review. If the milestone entrance and exit criteria are managed well, the program will run smoothly. Proper notice, tracking, and resolution is the only way to mitigate any impacts. For example, each program manager in Jamco America’s program management office holds PMP certification and has more than 25 years of commercial aerospace experience.

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