Multimillion-dollar purchases are well worth keeping an eye on. Buying an aircraft in the Global Express or Challenger category is, after all, not an off-the-shelf proposition. And, if you happen to be in the oil business, the high-tech sector, manufacturing, or the sports and entertainment industry, then aircraft completions are not likely your area of expertise.
By Stacy Bradshaw
|BJAC has recently opened its new and expanded facilities on Cote de Liesse in Montreal, across the street from the Bombardier Training Facility.|
Multimillion-dollar purchases are well worth keeping an eye on. Buying an aircraft in the Global Express or Challenger category is, after all, not an off-the-shelf proposition. And, if you happen to be in the oil business, the high-tech sector, manufacturing, or the sports and entertainment industry, then aircraft completions are not likely your area of expertise. It’s probably a good idea to talk to someone who knows about finishing or managing an aircraft completion project. Your aircraft is your business tool; you need it as soon as possible and you need it the way you want it. That’s where companies such as Montreal-based BJAC Services can play an important role.
BJAC, now in its 10th year of operation, is currently making its mark in the aviation community by guiding aircraft owners through the intricacies of turning a green aircraft into a finished product; or assisting prospective owners in choosing an aircraft in the first place. A full-service business jet enterprise, BJAC caters to its customers from the moment they decide to purchase an aircraft, to the continued maintenance and systems integration throughout the aircraft’s life.
|BJAC was founded by its president and CEO Bryan Landry.|
The company was founded by its current president and CEO Bryan Landry, an aviation engineer who has worked in the aerospace industry for more than 24 years. Landry began his career at Lucas Aerospace and later worked with companies such as Aircraft Parts and Supply, Pole Air, and Bombardier.
At Bombardier, Landry established and managed the night shift for the production Mod Line of the Global Express and also held positions as production supervisor and pre-flight supervisor, where he assisted in delivering more than 28 Green Certificates of Airworthiness.
Over its history, BJAC has focused primarily on Bombardier products, specifically, the Global XRS, Global 5000, Challenger 300, Challenger 604, and Challenger 605, although recently it has started to work on Dassault’s Falcon 7X, Boeing 777 and BBJs.
Maintaining a good relationship with the OEMs is an indispensable part of what BJAC does. “The relationships that BJAC has established with major OEMs is an important element of our business,” says Maurice Varin, vice-president, corporate sales and account management. “We have very positive and cooperative dealings with the major OEMs.”
Because of these good relationships, BJAC is able to effectively manage projects on behalf of its customers. Says Varin, “Our job is to ensure that purchasers get their aircraft delivered on time and with the right specifications.” To make sure that happens, the process ideally begins with the aircraft sale, which can often be up to two years before delivery. BJAC initiates the process by undertaking a technical procedure called the green aircraft acceptance. The procedure includes an in-depth review of the OEM’s functional and ground test procedures as well as the detailed inspection of the interior and exterior elements of the aircraft.
Once the BJAC team has completed the green aircraft acceptance of a client’s aircraft, they are then prepared to suggest the aircraft systems best suited to the client’s needs and to ensure optimal integration throughout the aircraft.
The next step is to work with the client to ensure that the interior of the aircraft meets both the functional and aesthetic needs of the client. The numerous details that comprise the interior need to be clearly delineated at the earliest possible stage – while reconciling personal tastes with aeronautical regulations.
Clients will next work with their own designer or a designer from the completion centre to decide on the details of the aircraft. At this point, a written interior specification is developed. This document becomes the foundation on which the interior of the aircraft is built.
The BJAC team verifies the drawings for the aircraft to ensure that they mirror the specification so that at the end of the completion process there are no anomalies in the documentation, which could cause a problem with the regulatory authorities and delay the delivery of the aircraft. Depending on a multitude of factors, the process can last several months.
Throughout the completion process, BJAC project managers track and verify the status of the work. These project managers provide regular reports to owners keeping them abreast of the work’s progress. Customer reports can be done weekly, bi-weekly or monthly depending on the specifics of the job. If something seems to have gone awry, they will first contact the customer.
“If something doesn’t look right, we usually get in touch with the owner and just ask if there has been a change in plans,” says Varin. “We will then report what is being done and work with the client to make sure the project is on the right track.” Varin points out that while their first loyalty is to the customer, they are certainly not there to fight with the OEMs. The goal is to facilitate the process so that all parties are satisfied at the end of the project.
Once the completion is finished, BJAC assists with the final acceptance and delivery. A final inspection of the aircraft on the ground and in flight is conducted to make certain it meets the customer’s specifications. Further tests are also performed to ascertain that all aircraft systems are integrated harmoniously. BJAC ensures all documentation and loose equipment are delivered as per the purchase agreement.
Varin says that about 50 per cent of BJAC’s projects are green-to-completion jobs, but they are able to start working with clients either before or after the green stage. One of the services offered by BJAC is pre-purchase consulting. The company works with prospective buyers by examining their budgets and flying requirements. They can also provide assistance in identifying an aircraft broker.
BJAC will oversee the construction of an aircraft on behalf of a purchaser. Its team ascertains if the regulatory requirements are being met. Daily meetings are held with the OEM delivery team and daily reports are submitted to the customer outlining the progress made and what possible contentious issues were uncovered. Once all of the issues are addressed and resolved with the OEM, the aircraft is then moved into a completion centre for installation of the interior and integration of optional aircraft systems.
The company can also provide appraisal for pre-owned aircraft purchases. It performs pre-purchase inspections, which include a complete review to ensure all pertinent OEM service bulletins are installed and that the aircraft is current with the latest OEM modification status and regulatory requirements. It will undertake ground and flight test procedures, taking into account the OEM manuals and maintenance programs, and review the logbooks to determine if they are compliant with all requirements and that no major damage has occurred.
In addition to its completions management and pre-purchase services, BJAC has also partnered with Air Data to provide a bio-protection system for the Bombardier Global series aircraft, and with Goodrich to offer the BJAC PilotsEdge electronic flight bag for all business aircraft.
The bio-protection system, called The Jet Air BPS, destroys almost all bio-contaminants and 90-95 per cent of residual cabin ozone present in recirculated cabin air for improved protection of passengers and crew.
The PilotsEdge electronic flight bag is a Class 3 EFB platform built to commercial airline avionics standards. It has recently received Canadian and FAA certification and EASA/JAA certification is still pending.
BJAC has recently opened its new and expanded facilities on Cote de Liesse in Montreal, across the street from the Bombardier Training Facility. It also maintains offices in St. Louis, Mo. and Portsmouth, N.H. and will soon be opening a location in Dallas.