With ever-more complex aircraft available to you, the process of fitting out an aircraft cabin is also more complex. The intricacies of the product and process mean that you – the prospective buyer – need a strong support team in place. But who exactly can you turn to for advice?
Engaging the services of an experienced completions center can help. A skilled completions center will work with you to be sure you have a thorough understanding of how to optimize design and configuration, and how to integrate your choices within a complex regulatory environment.
Typically, an aircraft owner will acquire an aircraft, commission a designer, and then contact a completions center. However, retaining a completions center earlier in the process can be a great advantage. Without an understanding of the process, customers may make decisions about the configuration or options of their new (“green”) aircraft before delivery. A competent completions center will advise on which options work best for specific individual design and weight considerations, giving you greater flexibility when it comes to finalizing, and implementing, an interior.
Completions is a complex business. When choosing a completions center, look for these six factors to help your aircraft meet your passenger comfort and functionality requirements:
1A strong background in VVIP completions – You acquired your large cabin or bizliner aircraft to accomplish demanding, longer-range missions, often with flight times in excess of 10 hours, requiring an effective workspace and rest area, as well as top rate communications. That kind of complex installation requires extensive experience and expertise.
2Long-standing relationships with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) – Understanding the airframe is essential to a smooth and efficient process, particularly with new generation composite aircraft. The completions center you choose should have on-the-ground experience and/or significant research and development regarding the exact make and model of aircraft you are purchasing. This will ensure that the center understands how to implement your aircraft’s interior without time-consuming and costly modifications to the composite structure.
3An in-house design studio – The studio either can provide you with initial concepts for several interiors, or it can work with an external designer to ascertain that your preferred design works within the increasingly complex regulations of the aviation industry.
4On-site experience – While in-house experience is very useful, having all departments on-site helps to maintain consistent quality and efficiency across the entire project, enabling a focus on constant improvement at all levels within the organization. It also offers you greater privacy and security.
5A commitment to fine craftsmanship and continuous innovation – As aircraft become ever-more sophisticated, the methods used to complete them must evolve. For example, veneers can be hand-cut and shaped to achieve the finest detail and quality, and finished using a state-of-the-art, UV varnishing process that dramatically reduces drying time. Or you may request targeted sound-proofing that provides remarkable improvements in ambient noise reduction inside the aircraft, while reducing weight and thus improving performance.
6A clear communications process – In the interests of efficiency and experience, look for a completions center that offers you one key contact and transparent internal communication. This system will help keep the entire team — and you — in the loop at all times. Innovation also is a factor, providing advantages like remote-access 3D visualization of your aircraft during every step of the completion, giving you greater control over the process wherever you are in the world. BAA
Matthew Woollaston joined Jet Aviation in March 2014 as director of Completion Sales and Market Development. Since 2015, he has been Vice President Completions Sales and Marketing, overseeing global sales activities for the Completions business.