JSSI continues expansion of helicopter maintenance programs

Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI) plans to add at least another 10 hourly helicopter maintenance programs to its list of services, following the introduction of 18 new programs in 2016.

The company now has over 100 programs for rotary-wing aircraft, ranging from complete “Tip-to-Tail” coverage, to engine- and airframe-specific, and unscheduled maintenance coverage.

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“We’re the only provider that can provide engine and airframe coverage, and [with] avionics we’re the sole source [hourly maintenance program],” said Ray Weiser, JSSI’s senior director of helicopter services. “It’s especially nice when you have a mixed fleet, and maybe you have a jet and you have a Sikorsky and an Airbus helicopter. If each one of those were to require three contracts to the OEM [original equipment manufacturer], you have nine contracts with three aircraft. JSSI can pull all that into one contract for one aircraft.”

The company’s helicopter business grew by 250 percent in 2016, the result of renewed focus on the industry over the last three years.

“Everybody associates us with a jet company in the past, but within in the helicopter space we’re starting to gain recognition,” said Weiser. “People know who we are, we’re making noise, their competitors are using us; their neighbors are using us. If you’re providing a service and you’re doing it really well, the word gets out.”

As well as adding new types to its portfolio as they become certified — this year should see new programs launched for the Leonardo AW169 and AW189, as well as the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X — JSSI has completed the expansion of its services from light to heavy helicopters.

“We looked at the lights first,” said Weiser. “We wanted to make sure that we had a solution for every light, and we do now. We’re very well versed in the mediums — we can almost say we’ve got them all. And the heavies are our latest focus.”

With that in mind, the company recently released an airframe program for the S-92.

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Weiser said JSSI’s customers currently range from single-aircraft owner/operators to those with fleets of up to 10 aircraft, and they operate in all segments of the industry.

While there has been a huge growth of OEMs offering their own pay-by-the-hour programs in recent years, Weiser said the competition was actually enhancing JSSI’s business.

“Competition is good, and then when [operators] compare the products, that’s where we’re winning the business,” he said. “[The OEMs] build great helicopters, they build great engines, but this isn’t what they do, and this is all that we do. So we’ve got be better. We’ve got to work harder for support; we’ve got to have better customer service, and that’s kind of where we excel.”

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