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Deciding to buy or sell an in-service transport-category aircraft is a process that employs a calculus of variations to assess myriad values. There are hundreds of them, from cycles and hours remaining on life-limited components and systems to fleet compatibility, maintenance training, spare parts, and required documentation on things like Standardized Wiring Practices, which includes EWIS, electrical wiring interconnection systems (another area of ASIG expertise, by the way).
Add a new variable: the NextGen National Air Transportation System. Really. After years of talking and testing, the time has come to get serious about upgrading to performance-based navigation systems that deliver the required navigational performance because “tomorrow” is here. And travelers know it’s coming, thanks to articles like “Overhaul Lies Ahead for Air Traffic Control,” which recently ran in Cincinnati.
The satellite-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system now tracks aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico and Louisville, and it is coming online in Juneau and Philadelphia. But that’s just the start. “By 2013, satellite-based surveillance will be available to equipped operators nationwide [emphasis added],” writes FAA Administrator Randy Babbit.
Naturally, work on NextGen will continue beyond 2013 as the government redesigns the airspace to match the new satellite-based systems. But the administrator’s words are also an unspoken warning: aircraft not equipped for NextGen airspace will go to the end of line for ATC services, a position that will match their standing with their competition—and consumers.
Why buy or sell an aircraft in this time of transition? Because upgrading some aircraft is easier and more economical than others. And as airlines like Southwest have proven, a homogenous fleet, which cuts the cost of upgrades, spare parts, and maintenance, makes an important contribution to overall success. (See Fleet Upgrades Share Rewards--and Costs.)
Whether you are buying, selling, or both, ASIG's Fleet Planning & Support staff are masters of complex calculus, working all of the financial, regulatory, and operational variables in custom computations founded on clearly defined operational requirements. The results are decisions that deliver the best return on an investment in NextGen capabilities.
Beyond a comprehensive analysis of cost versus configuration, ASIG can handle the entire process for buyers and sellers, reliably completing every task quickly and correctly. Tasks range from finding appropriate aircraft and thoroughly evaluating it before the purchase to performing or managing all of the maintenance, upgrades, conversions, and standardization work that makes it a member of your fleet after the deal is done.
To start calculating how you will efficiently and economically build a fleet that will take full advantage of Next Generation National Air Transportation system, contact ASIG. You can start face-to-face at the Regional Airline Association (RAA) 2010 Convention, May 24-27, at the Frontier (formerly Midwest)Airlines Convention Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Look for us in Booth 631.
Until next time, stay 5x5, mission ready, and Wired!