ATS Adds Maintenance Line As North American Market Improves
Analyst forecasts of North America leading the world in passenger growth is stirring optimism with companies already seeing an upturn in business in areas such as heavy maintenance.
One of these is Aviation Technical Services (ATS), who's CEO Matt Yerbic says the upturn has led to the company readying itself with an additional line of heavy maintenance which started at the end of January in Everett, while it is managing two new customer programs already underway in Kansas City.
“Component repair is seeing modest improvements in the number of parts received daily from customers requiring repair,” Yerbic says, adding that ATS continues to design and expand its PMA product portfolio. “Here we are anticipating increased customer interest generated through our new distribution agreement with Wencor as well as requirements from in-house airframe maintenance checks.”
The ATS executive says its Ranger Asset Management program is seeing increased activity in its component sales channel and has begun the teardown process of a recently acquired Airbus A321, starting with its V2500 engines.
Like other shops, ATS needed help to get through a very hard year. As a result of CARES Act payroll grants, ATS has been able to reinstate employees who had been furloughed as early as March of 2020, prior to CARES Act passage.
“To date we have returned 82 employees, the majority of whom are mechanics,” Yerbic says. “In addition, though not required under the CARES Act, we used the funds to retain employees that might have otherwise been furloughed during the very slow fourth quarter of 2020. This support has been critical to our business during the last six months.”
ATS is currently applying for further employee payroll funding relief under CARES Act II. Yerbic anticipates continuing to return mechanics from furlough and hiring additional employees for ATS’s apprentice program during 2021. But even amidst the downturn, there have been opportunities to drive what Yerbic calls, “footprint efficiency, technology upgrades and movement to more efficient business processes and systems.”
One example of “footprint efficiency” is the ATS DFW Center of Excellence project, which will combine American Cooler Service, Aviation Industry Repair and Texas Pneumatic Systems from July to November 2021. And the MRO’s entry into the aircraft teardown market will position it to better help customers as aviation rebounds.
Yerbic believes these initiatives, plus apprentice hiring and recruiting, will position ATS for improved performance as the market recovers. The approach appears to be working. ATS signed up several new customers during the pandemic.