The large and privately owned Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Marshall ADG), which has a turnover of some £1.5 billion, is looking to increase its civil and business aviation work from 5% to 18%.

A major first instance will be this summer’s arrival of a Boeing 747 for VIP refurbishment. The 747 job marks a shift in emphasis for Marshall, renowned for its work in military aircraft modifications and maintenance support for customers including the UK Ministry of Defence.

Marshall is based at Cambridge International, which it owns, and plans to continue expanding its business aviation activity through a newly created Aviation Services Division. The unit includes Marshall Aviation Services under the leadership of managing director Steve Jones.

Central to this commitment is for MAS to expand its MRO capabilities at its Broughton, North Wales and Cambridge facilities, taking on such types as the Bombardier Global family and expanding activity in special mission work, particularly on Beech King Airs.

Marshall ADG will handle large aircraft completions at Cambridge, while MAS Broughton will concentrate on the smaller platforms and the special missions modification work.

MAS’s MRO activity at Broughton has focused on Authorized Service Center support of Hawker and Beechcraft family aircraft. At Cambridge, Marshall has supported Cessna Citation aircraft for 40 years. In anticipation of further work, Marshall recently moved its primary maintenance facility there from 22 Hangar to 2 Hangar, enabling it to double its capacity for Citation maintenance – to 60,000 sq. ft.

For many years Marshall has worked on Bombardier’s Global Express aircraft, primarily on green completions and special mission aircraft. Now for the first time, MAS is offering full spectrum MRO support on Global types to the wider retail business aviation market, likewise from its Cambridge facility.

The acquisition last September of Beechcraft’s 50-year old flagship European MRO business, Hawker Beechcraft Limited, was pivotal to bolstering Marshall’s commercial business. The firm welcomed 230 additional personnel, including 28 design staff, taking the combined Marshall ADG design engineering workforce to 400. This already puts MAS among the top 10 companies in Europe for business aviation support and solutions, the company says.

The Beechcraft buy has given MAS critical mass and a widened scope of activity now including aircraft completions and a dedicated state-of-the-art paint facility and paint design center. MAS Broughton includes a modern FBO style environment, and its workshops support MRO, aerostructures, avionics, design engineering, modifications and interior refurbishment.

Oxford based FlairJet, a business jet charter and management company, was acquired by MAS in March 2013. Its aircraft have been amalgamated with Marshall Executive Aviation’s two aircraft to bring the fleet to four under FlairJet’s AOC. It is planned to expand this to 20 managed aircraft within two years.

FlairJet also offers training support on Embraer Phenoms and has an ongoing relationship with NetJets Europe in support of NetJets Phenom 300 pilot training. This plus the Hawker Beechcraft Broughton and Beechcraft sales acquisition, and the company’s pre-owned aircraft and helicopter sales brokerage (JETability) will increase MAS’s turnover from £10 million in 2012/2013, to £60 million this year. Its business plan is to increase this to £100 million within five years.

Marshall ADG, which is celebrating its centenary this year, is in the market to make further strategic acquisitions that provide good synergies.