In a period of just three months, Miami-headquartered line-MRO and ground-handling company F&E Aircraft Maintenance (FEAM) has almost doubled to 24 the number of line stations it operates within the U.S.
On Jan. 3, FEAM announced it had opened eight new line stations in the U.S. Midwest and on the U.S. West Coast, all eight being fully operational from the outset.
According to FEAM, it expanded its network into the Midwest and added new stations on the West Coast “to fully accommodate its growing customer base of major global airline operators.”
FEAM’s latest line stations are located at Paine Field in Everett, Washington; Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport; Denver International Airport; Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee; and Orlando International Airport and Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport in Florida.
According to FEAM, it has signed line maintenance agreements with various international and U.S. domestic airlines to provide full handling of airworthiness release support and up to A-check-level work at the eight new locations. Select locations also will have European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) B1-level FEAM engineers to provide full handling of EASA and United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority requirements.
The launches of the eight new line-MRO stations at the beginning of 2017 follow a FEAM announcement in the fall that it had opened three new stations on Oct. 3, also fully operational from the outset. FEAM is operating these three line-MRO stations—at Ontario International Airport, California; Richmond International Airport, Virginia; and Lehigh Valley International Airport near Allentown, Pennsylvania—to support the Boeing 767 freighter fleet of a sizable cargo operator, which appears to be ABX Air.
In 2015, FEAM launched two other line stations and it added new line-MRO and ground-handling clients at existing stations in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, FEAM opened line stations at Rickenbacker International Airport near Columbus, Ohio, and at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in northern Kentucky, near Kentucky’s border with Ohio.
The company began handling Korean Air flights at Anchorage International Airport in January 2015 and NCA Cargo flights also at Anchorage in March 2016, when it added passenger handling for Korean Air’s Boeing 747-8I flights at Chicago O’Hare International Airport the same month.
Additional expansion for FEAM in 2015 came in March of that year when GE Telesis announced it would locate Airbus and Boeing components and line replaceable units (LRU) at FEAM’s existing line stations at Miami International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport serving Houston and Los Angeles International Airport.
This agreement called for FEAM to use the GA Telesis-provided components and LRUs to manage its airline clients’ needs at those stations, particularly in aircraft-on-ground situations.
The GA Telesis-FEAM agreement quickly expanded to FEAM’s line stations at Anchorage, Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O’Hare, Charleston International Airport in South Carolina, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
FEAM attributes much of its ability to grow rapidly over the past three years to a partnership it established in 2014 with UK-based Airline Maintenance & Engineering Training Ltd. (AMET), a UK Civil Aviation Authority/EASA Part 147-approved training organization. Established in 2010, AMET has training facilities in Exeter in England, Edinburgh in Scotland and Alicante in Spain.
Under the terms of its agreement with AMET, FEAM’s maintenance training center at its Miami headquarters has become an approved location for the partnership. “As such, we are one of very few U.S. organizations that provides EASA [Part] 147 maintenance training,” FEAM notes on its website.
FEAM lists 25 airlines as customers on its website, although one listed client, US Airways, no longer exists as such. The company’s market penetration with large all-cargo carriers is significant; FEAM’s client list includes 10 such airlines—among them the US cargo operators Atlas Air and its sister airline, Polar Air Cargo.
However, the client list also includes names such as Aeromexico, Air China, Asiana, Avianca, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, El Al, EVA Air, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Qantas, Republic Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Spirit Airlines.
In addition to being an FAA-certificated FAR Part 145 repair station, FEAM holds certifications as an approved maintenance organization (AMO) by South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and Bermuda's Department of Civil Aviation and as a 145 repair station by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, an EASA 145 repair station and a Japanese Civil Aeronautics Board (JCAB) repair station. According to FEAM, it was the first U.S.-based MRO to receive JCAB line maintenance approval.
FEAM, which by now has expanded to employ more than 600 line maintenance engineers and aircraft maintenance technicians, operates two additional line stations at commercial airports in the U.S.: at Huntsville International Airport (HSV) in Alabama and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).
Additionally, FEAM has a presence on two U.S. air force bases: Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, Ohio, and Dover AFB near Dover, Delaware.