On the eve of this year’s NBAA, Flying Colours, the North American maintenance, repair, overhaul and completions business announced it is adding more than 140,000 square feet to its North American footprint as it continues its ambitious expansion and embarks on its largest infrastructure growth to date.
Plans are currently being finalized for the groundbreaking of a brand-new hangar by the end of fall 2018 at the Peterborough, ON, facility. The additional hangar, the fourth at Flying Colours Peterborough headquarters, is needed to provide additional capacity for completions, refurbishment and heavy maintenance work scopes on large jet airframes.
The purpose-built hangar will be divided into three distinct zones. A new 40,000-square-foot, climate controlled, state-of-the-art paint shop will be added, supplementing the two existing dedicated paint shops. Large enough to accommodate business jets up to Global 7500, Boeing Business Jet or Airbus A220 (formerly known as the Bombardier C Series) size airframes it will fulfill the higher volume of paint jobs passing through the facility. A second area of 40,000 square feet has been designed to enable heavy maintenance and/or interior work on up to four Global 6000-size aircraft to take place simultaneously. Two higher levels will be used for new customer offices, a second dedicated design-center at the facility, storage and general office space. The total office space will cover more than 20,000 square feet bringing the hangar footprint to more than 100,000 square feet in total when it opens in mid-2019.
At the company’s Chesterfield, St. Louis facility a fifth hangar will be inaugurated on 1 December. The 30,000-square-feet area will be large enough to handle up to three parallel large-jet maintenance, avionics upgrades and interior projects at once including Bombardier Global and larger Gulfstream models. The additional capacity dove tails with the expanded interiors and cabinetry workshop that opened in January of this year. Together the shops will support the multiple aircraft projects being undertaken at the KSUS facility. A further 18,000 square feet of customer lounges, office space, and storage area will form the second floor of the facility.
The next expansion phase represents Flying Colours’ largest investment to date and has been driven by the long-term need for increased capacity as customer demand reflects renewed growth in the business aviation sector. The latest aircraft models require high-quality interior monuments for completions, an active pre-owned market has driven a rise in refurbishment demand, and the frequency of heavy maintenance checks has grown as more models become due. An evolving connectivity segment has also stimulated the need for more avionics upgrades across numerous platforms. This has also been augmented by the upcoming ADS-B Out mandate in the North Americas.
When the buildings are complete more than 100 team members will join the family-owned business across the two sites. The search for maintenance, interiors and paint expertise will lead the recruitment drive.
“We were literally running out of space to deliver all the services that our clients were requesting, so took the decision to increase our footprint significantly at both of our North American sites,” says Sean Gillespie, Executive VP, Flying Colours Corp. “The business aviation sector is more buoyant than it has been for some time and with our Bombardier ASF status, our breadth of experience working on numerous different aircraft types, and the fact that we can offer a multitude of skills under one roof, so reducing aircraft downtime, is making us very attractive to a wider range of customers.”