SERVING THE REGION - Simon Wayne, General Manager, Bombardier Business Aviation Aircraft Singapore Service Center
Providing the widest range of service center coverage in the region, jet manufacturer Bombardier serves the regional fleet through its extensive service centers and customer support. Industry veteran Simon Wayne now spearheads the first Bombardier Business Aircraft Service Center in Asia, located in Singapore.
Tell me about your background and how you came to become the Singapore Service Center’s General Manager?
I began my career back in Australia as an engineer whilst gaining my pilot license. Over the past 25 years, I have worked regionally and internationally in a wide range of roles, with the last 12 years based in Asia. I am extremely passionate about the future of business aviation in Asia and what we can do together to grow its future. I had the pleasure of working on the set up of new MRO and FBO facilities and operations in China and Southeast Asia, and four years ago, I was given the privilege to establish the first Bombardier Business Aircraft Service Center in Asia — here in Singapore.
How has the MRO industry evolved throughout your career?
Amidst new aircraft technology and increasing industry regulation, MRO is continuously evolving to respond to the growing awareness of the critical value business aviation plays in the growth of Asia. MRO is also leveraging more information technology, bringing real time information, data capture and analysis to both the engineer and to the operator, enhancing their decisions and increasing connectivity in the cockpit and the cabin.
What are some of the features of Bombardier’s Singapore Service Center?
The Singapore Service Center features 3,000sqm (32,000 sq ft) of hangar space, 3,500 sqm (38,000 sq ft) of dedicated ramp, and 3,500sqm (38,000 sq ft) of workshop, warehouse and office space. With its dedicated staff of over 150 people, the facility is equipped to perform scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, modifications, including interior refurbishment and modifications, avionics installations, and Aircraft on Ground (AOG) support for Bombardier Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft across the region.
In November 2016, Singapore received AsBAA’s Icons of Aviation ‘Best Maintenance, Repair Organization’ Award. What factors contributed to this award?
The team we have grown has an unwavering customer focus in all that we do, striving to do better every time, to deliver an exceptional customer experience. We have built solutions to support our complete aircraft portfolio, whatever the national registration or work scope, by leveraging our OEM know-how and resources, and our strong understanding of both our Asia Pacific and international customers’ needs.
Bombardier Business Aircraft’s Singapore Service Center continues to show impressive growth as it continues to expand its capabilities and capacity. Since opening in February 2014, the Service Center has delivered high-quality OEM expertise, providing maintenance support for over 2000 Bombardier Business Aircraft customer visits. This includes delivering the largest maintenance events in the aircraft’s lifecycle such as the 96- and 192-month inspections on Challenger aircraft, 120-month inspections on Global aircraft and the first-ever 240-month inspection on a Global aircraft in a timely, value-added fashion for the customer.
Customers in region benefit from the Singapore Service Center’s comprehensive capabilities and flexibility, as well as on-site parts inventory and engineering support. They can also maximize their maintenance event to complete additional work during their downtime in Singapore, such as paint, complete interior refurbishment, avionics modifications or the installation of inflight connectivity, including the fastest worldwide* Ka-band high-speed internet for Global aircraft, of which the first-ever installation the Singapore Service Center performed as well as major refurbishments of Global and Challenger delivered to in region customers.
The Singapore Service Center has received 19 certifications from international airworthiness authorities with more in progress, ten authorizations from engine and avionics OEMs to cover all those fitted across Learjet, Challenger and Global platforms, and established the state-of-the-art interior shop in Asia Pacific. To accommodate increasing demand, the facility has more than quadrupled its engineer and technician workforce since opening.
*Coverage excludes North and South Poles.
Singapore is often seen as the regional MRO hub, however increasing air traffic and land constraints have forced the industry to consider how it will develop. What are the Service Center’s plans?
Bombardier Business Aircraft’s Singapore Service Center employs a team of over 150 people and growing, heavily focused on developing experienced talent and new talent to grow our services for our customers. At the entry level, our facility engages with local polytechnic schools, technical colleges and training institutions to develop our current and future team. Nurturing real-world training of students in aeronautical engineering is not only beneficial to the students and their future careers, but also directly supports the sustainability of our talent pipeline, and ultimately, our success as a business. We have annual internship programs, welcoming students from local aeronautical engineering schools. We are always delighted to welcome passionate, engaged students to our Service Center and are grateful for their contributions to our facility. Our Singapore Service Center also relies on experienced local talent to grow, mentor and succeed, particularly as we work to develop the leaders of tomorrow.
What are some of the challenges of being an OEM providing MRO services?
Providing MRO services to aircraft is by nature an incredibly complex undertaking.
As an OEM, however, Bombardier Business Aircraft has a unique advantage, as we built our aircraft and we know them tip-to-tail. Our service network is equipped to support Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft, and is connected to Bombardier’s 24/7 Customer Response Center. Our worldwide support network delivers the highest quality service by the industry’s best trained engineers and technicians, offering the most comprehensive capabilities for Bombardier business aircraft, all to maximize our customers’ bottom line.
We are there throughout the manufacturing process, at the delivery of the aircraft, and we train our customers on their aircraft upon acquisition. We support maintenance events, replace parts, perform inspections and improvements throughout the aircraft’s lifetime. We tailor our training programs to specific customer requirements. We are here to help our customers ensure their aircraft remains bespoke to their needs. We have invested in bolstering our 24/7/365 Customer Response Center (CRC), which supports the over 4,700 Bombardier business aircraft in service, and directs 3,000 employees, including over 80 local field service representatives. Bombardier has an extensive network of nearly 100 locations around the world ready to support our customers’ needs whenever and wherever they arise.
What are the company’s plans for development across the Asia-Pacific region?
With the recent inauguration of a Service Center in Tianjin, China, and the continued growth of the award-winning Singapore Service Center, Bombardier Business Aircraft is further strengthening its customer support network as part of its commitment to operators in the region. Bombardier Business Aircraft’s Service Centers offer comprehensive capabilities and flexibility to our customers, closer to their base of operations. Our priority is to ensure that we are ready to support our customers wherever their needs arise. Now approaching almost 200 in-region staff dedicated to supporting Bombardier Business aircraft customers in Asia Pacific, we will continue to grow to meet the growing fleet and demand.
As Bombardier’s fleet continues to grow, so does its worldwide service network, with new service centers in Tianjin, China, and London, U.K., and five new line maintenance stations across Europe. We aim to become a one-stop shop, building capacity to support our increasing fleet. We will maintain our ability to support our customers 24/7, wherever and whenever their needs arise.