Ontic, a subsidiary of BBA Aviation, produces parts that the original manufacturers no longer want to make. Last year it put down $61.5 million for licenses from GE Aviation for legacy avionics, and agreed with Pratt & Whitney Canada to make more JT15D engine parts. The moves further cemented its support of Challenger 300, Hawker 800 and Falcon 7/8X platforms, as well as the Cessna Citation II and V and the Hawker 400A.

But most operators will never know about Ontic; it distributes parts through Aviall, or directly on demand to the airframe manufacturers. Its portfolio of products, licensed or acquired from major OEMs such as Honeywell, UTC Aerospace, Safran, Thales and GE Aviation, span all major aircraft systems in both civil and military markets.

Business is good: Ontic expects to generate about $210 million of revenue this year, says president and managing director Gareth Hall. The company has 450 employees based across two core sites in Chatsworth, Los Angeles, and Cheltenham, UK, and a location in Singapore that mainly supports the commercial airline fleet.

As well as manufacturing products that an OEM finds difficult to retain, Ontic takes on the responsibility for customer support, “assuming all the past responsibilities of the OEM,” says Hall. “Customers may require technical assistance with products through assembly, manufacture of the products, or any switch to warranty support.”

Another differentiating factor, he says, is Ontic’s continuing willingness to be ready with inventory and have parts available in a reasonable timeframe.