FEAM Maintenance/Engineering has been expanding its line MRO business strongly and is entering new markets for heavy maintenance and modifications. The company now has 700 employees across its network of 27 line stations, of which 650 are aircraft maintenance technicians. “FEAM has experienced phenomenal growth in the last four years, about 8% year over year in technicians,” says Scott Diaz, director of business development in the Americas. “We are projecting 5-6% growth per year as we turn on more locations for our Boeing GoldCare relationship and begin other strategic programs.”
After HAECO had exited line maintenance in the U.S., FEAM took over several large customer accounts at six locations: Seattle, Snohomish-Paine, Denver, Phoenix, Milwaukee and Orlando. The company was selected to provide EASA full handling, transit support and overnight checks, including A Checks. Diaz attributes these gains partly to FEAM’s experience with EASA maintenance standards. “An overwhelming percent of our customers require that our technicians be trained to the EASA standard.”
FEAM plans to open a modification and base maintenance center at Miami International Airport during the third quarter of 2017. The hangar has 37,000 square feet of usable hangar space and 10,000 square feet of back-shop space. The hangar will fully enclose narrowbody aircraft up to 757s, and the center will support additional widebodies on the tarmac.
One of FEAM’s goals at the new center will be IFEC modifications and installations. “Our goal is to ultimately provide a nose-to-tail connectivity upgrade or new installation solution,” Diaz explains. The location at Miami will favor airlines using the airport as a hub or focus city. “We can take advantage of downtime by providing checks and other required maintenance or modifications.” Diaz says FEAM has a highly experienced workforce in Miami, including experience in structures and avionics.
Diaz says installing a satellite or air-to-ground IFEC system is now a common and straightforward modification. The challenge is performing the installation consistently in two to three days. “This requires a dedicated installation team working in close collaboration with the integrator to ensure the modification is designed for a two- to three-day installation out of the box. The last couple years have seen significant improvements in standardization of connectivity hardware installation engineering, which make these timelines feasible.”
FEAM also wants to continue growing line maintenance in the U.S. and exploit emerging international opportunities. “We look forward to continuing to grow with the GoldCare program,” Diaz says. And FEAM will explore MRO opportunities with other OEMs as well.
The FEAM exec says his firm is one of the few U.S. MROs that has already implemented a Safety Management System for workers and customer equipment. It has also established a training academy to provide EASA-level aircraft systems training, and the center offers training to airlines and other MROs.