The provider of helicopter rotor blade MRO is best known for its expertise in Sikorsky rotor blades, possessing what First Aviation Services calls “the most extensive library of Sikorsky rotor blade maintenance and manufacturing technical data outside of Sikorsky.”
The acquisition is First Aviation Services’ second investment in the helicopter market in recent months. In April, it acquired DART Aerospace—which manufactures helicopter mission equipment and aftermarket components—in partnership with Greenbriar Equity Group.
According to a representative for First Aviation Services, the company’s decision to invest more into helicopter MRO was prompted by industry trends it is beginning to see. “We believe we are at a trough in the civilian helicopter operations market. In the military and para-military markets, operators are asking for alternatives to the OEMs, which tend to be unresponsive and expensive,” says the representative. “We see a significant opportunity with the [Sikorsky UH-60] Black Hawk helicopters moving into the civilian market.”
Aviation Week’s 2019 Fleet & MRO Forecast predicts MRO demand for Sikorsky helicopters within the civil market will reach $5.1 billion over the next decade. Within the military market, demand will reach $83 billion over the same time frame.
Prior to the recent acquisitions, First Aviation Services says its involvement with helicopter MRO was minimal. The company says it plans to continue looking for additional investment opportunities within the helicopter market.
Post-acquisition, both ABS and DART Aerospace will operate independently with access to First Aviation Services’ full engineering and financial resources.