Dornier 328 customers aim for closer co-operation
July 9, 2008 - A heightened co-operation through shared operational experiences between Dornier 328 operators worldwide was one of the agreed actions at the recent Dornier 328 operators’ conference which took place during 3-5 June in Palma Mallorca.
July 9, 2008 By Carey Fredericks
July 9, 2008 – A heightened co-operation through shared operational experiences between Dornier 328 operators worldwide was one of the agreed actions at the recent Dornier 328 operators’ conference which took place during 3-5 June in Palma Mallorca. Over 80 representatives from 18 operators around the world, including Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, the USA, Venezuela, Colombia and Australia met with the technical and customer support managers of the Dornier 328 type certificate holder 328 Support Services GmbH., to discuss the current issues in maintaining the 215-strong worldwide fleet.
It was agreed that airlines will work together to share best practices in terms of in-service performance and maintenance as well as optimising the delivery of spare parts. 328 Support Services also highlighted its expanding expertise and interest in 328 Jet conversions (primarily to 12 and 14-seat VIP executive aircraft).
"We have certainly proved ourselves since the last operators conference in December 2006 in the role of being a reliable partner and a company focused on the long term support of this fleet. In our hangar 310 in Oberpfaffenhofen Airport, near Munich we have a fully integrated new interior shop that allows us to manufacture in-house custom made interiors for our customers. The hangar is currently very busy with aircraft maintenance and conversion work,” reported Dave Jackson, Managing Director, 328 Support Services. "We have already equipped four aircraft with new VIP interiors and two more 328 Jets conversion are in progress.” The high acceptance in the market for this work has led to a steep increase in turnover, in addition to an increase in the workforce, which has grown to over 100 employees – up from 80 in 2006.
328 Support Services has demonstrated its competence and diversity of skills to handle a number of new engineering tasks, from the refurbishment of aircraft, fitting of luxurious seats, through to the mounting of new high level interiors and installation of the most modern inflight entertainment systems. The fitting of long range fuel tanks taking the 328Jet’s range to over 2,000 nm, is also another popular request among customers. During the operators’ conference, Ray Mosses, Head of Sales, introduced renderings of a whole new VIP layout and a cabin interior which optimizes the 328’s large cabin. Features include an enlarged lavatory and new colour scheme for the interior.
The conference agenda also include presentations from several of the aircraft’s major vendors – Pratt & Whitney Canada, Honeywell, Messier-Dowty, Thales, Meggitt and Hartzell. FSC from the Netherlands was introduced as a new training provider – having acquired its 328 flight simulator in December 2007 at its Schiphol/Amsterdam facilities.
"Operations of such a big fleet worldwide create many technical issues and a new Customer Support handbook has now been issued to all the operators. We are working hard to quicken the handling of inquiries and reduce reaction-time on inquiries by our Global Support Center. In the USA, we are determined to speed up the support with spare parts,” summarised Bernhard Schuster, Head of Customer Support. "Greater co-operation between our customers and the sharing of operational and maintenance information will help us keep the Dornier 328 family flying for many more flight-hours,” he said.