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Straight to the source

There is no customer service phone line at VIH Aerospace. The Vancouver Island, British Columbia-based helicopter maintenance, manufacturing, repair and overhaul (MMRO) company instead provides a direct line to key personnel in sales, helping assure the quickest resolution to customer needs.

VIH Aerospace’s philosophy–every employee is responsible for customer service–stems from the company’s vision to provide high quality MMRO services and products as well as innovative supplemental type certificate (STC) equipment, quickly and efficiently.

“We believe in keeping our teams lean and working directly with the customer to assure an efficient, cost-effective and quality solution,” said David McGrath, director of marketing, business development and sales for VIH Aerospace. “When everyone maintains a service-above-all attitude, we remain customer focused, which leads to high quality and superior customer satisfaction.”

A division of the VIH Aviation Group of companies, VIH Aerospace offers a comprehensive suite of services including component overhaul, aircraft refurbishment/completions, structural repair, paint and composites, avionics and electrical installations, modification and upgrades, scheduled inspections, manufacturing, product engineering, STC development and parts/special operations equipment sales.

The company’s international reputation is built on its mandate to consistently deliver the highest standard services designed to help customers achieve their mission objectives in a safe, reliable and cost-effective manner. This, paired with VIH Aerospace’s dedication to best practices, continuous improvement and collaboration with partners, has made it an industry leader.

Renewed focus

Born from Vancouver Island Helicopters’ internal maintenance division, VIH Aerospace brings more than 60 years of experience to the industry as a third party MMRO provider.

Looking to stand out from its former function and distinguish itself for its growing role in global MMRO, the company re-branded last year, taking the opportunity to refocus efforts on both its proven strengths and look to the future to provide new services.

“VIH Aerospace is known globally as a Bell Helicopter-approved customer service facility, or CSF, for a variety of light and medium Bell helicopters, as well as offering a wealth of experience supporting the Sikorsky S-61 and S-92 and various Airbus and Leonardo helicopters,” said McGrath. “We’re taking the expertise and knowledge we’ve acquired and are making our best-in-class MMRO services and products available to the global helicopter market.”

Earlier this year VIH Aerospace announced its offering of H130/EC130 annual inspections as a part of renewed focus on performing both scheduled and unscheduled inspections for operators of all aircraft types supported by the company, including the Sikorsky S-61, S-76 and S-92; Bell 205, 206, 212, 222, 230 and 407; Airbus AS350, AS355 and H130/EC130; and the Leonardo AW139.

Also, VIH Aerospace recently began a Bell Major Component Overhaul, Rental and Exchange program. The program offers operators the added assurance of having difficult-to-source serviceable/overhauled major components available for rental while their components are being repaired and/or overhauled at a Bell certified CSF.

“This program has been in place for little over a year and has been very successful, particularly with Bell 407 helicopter operators,” said McGrath. “Both domestic and international customers have taken advantage of it, significantly lowering both their overhaul costs as well as lost revenue due to helicopter down time.”

As a part of the company’s renewed focus, VIH Aerospace also introduced a Mobile Repair Teams program in 2016.

“Some operators need repairs in the field, or it is too expensive or time-sensitive to bring their helicopter to our facility,” McGrath explained. “Our Mobile Repair Teams deliver our high quality service at the operator’s location, assuring repairs are done quickly and efficiently, and again reducing MRO costs and reducing helicopter down time. We’ve had a number of customers take advantage of this program in its first year and demand continues to grow.”

Focused on manufacturing

VIH Aerospace’s reputation for manufacturing and STC development precedes it. With more than 60 helicopter STCs to its name, the company develops its own STCs, works with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to develop equipment at their request, and works directly with customers to assist with STC development to meet specific operational requirements.

“Our dedication is to the range of aircraft we support, providing repairs, modifications, STCs, and upgrades, but also, by working with the original equipment manufacturers to develop ways to improve the aircraft,” said McGrath. “We’ve developed strong relationships with the OEMs. They come to us to request assistance in manufacturing enhancements to current models. This allows the OEM to stay focused on manufacturing the aircraft, while we work to provide the enhancements they seek.”

VIH Aerospace’s STC development and general manufacturing services are in high demand. Currently the team manufactures kit pieces, test fixtures and STC products for several major helicopter OEMs, other MROs, industry vendors and even fixed-wing fleet operators. In 2017, the company plans to expand its manufacturing capability and capacity to address a growing and more diverse international customer base.

The company is making inroads in the Asia Pacific market and developing new business opportunities in Europe. VIH also plans to expand its services and product offering into South America, while also introducing various new operator-focused capabilities and products to the
international helicopter market.

Heli Tech Insight Magazine 2017

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