Spirit Aeronautics, a worldwide aviation services provider headquartered at John Glenn Columbus International Airport, has announced plans to partner with a Cincinnati technical services firm to develop a certificate program for Boeing 737 operators, both commercial and business.
Any supplemental type certificate the duo is able to develop presumably would allow airlines and other Boeing 737 aircraft operators to save on the upgrade to the mandated Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system.
Spirit President and COO Tony Bailey cautioned about the speculative nature of the enterprise but was confident development of a less costly fix for the mandate was possible.
“What we know is what is required, what the equipment and development costs are, and what is being advertised in the market,” he said. “That allows us to narrow down the expectation.”
He said the solution the Spirit-Global team develops as an alternative to the Boeing solution could result in millions of dollars of savings to any airline that chooses our ADS-B solution for U.S. Federal Aviation Administration compliance.
Bailey further broke down the numbers. Boeing reported that more than 10,000 of its 737 aircraft have been delivered prior to July of 2012.
“Of those, we believe that roughly 90 percent require specialized avionics equipment installed by supplemental type certificate to meet the requirements,” he said. “If the average price point for the upgrade is $100,000 (estimated) per aircraft, the result is an upgrade cost of $900 million dollars or more fleet wide.
“If our solution is 30 percent cheaper or more, the result could save the industry over $270 million dollars … It is our belief that because of this project, we will bring in tens of millions of dollars of revenue into Ohio, if we only get a small percentage of the overall fleet.”
Aircraft must be equipped by 2020 with a 1090 Mode S DO-260-B transponder, a certified Wide Area Augmentation System Global Positioning System and interface to a modern radio tuning unit, all requirements of the administration’s NextGen project.
Spirit will work with Cincinnati-based Global Aerospace Design Corp. on the project to develop a comprehensive FAA Supplemental Type Certificate to encompass all of the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency requirements with a focus on future mandates
“Our goal is to provide Boeing 737 customers with a low cost, but compliant ADS-B solution that is reliable and effective,” Bailey said in the press statement.
Global’s strong suit is technical services and providing FAA certification for a wide variety of aircraft modification efforts, according to the press release.
“Teaming with Global is a no-brainer relationship that can accomplish that and more,” Bailey said. “Global’s expertise and abilities complement our own, making us an incredible team with the ability to put together a Boeing 737 ADS-B solution that is second to none.”
Global engineers have developed expertise in modifying aircraft “nose-to-tail” in both avionic upgrades and interior modification/IFE upgrades, he added.
“Global is excited about where this partnership with Spirit will take our company,” Global Vice President of Business Development Todd Hamblin said in the same press statement. “Both organizations employ complementary resources within the commercial and business aviation industries and by combining our resources we are able to maximize the reach of our solutions.”
Sprint Aeronautics, a trade name of Spirit Avionics Ltd., is primarily engaged in the refurbishment, design, development, completions, management, engineering, material supply, integration and sustainment of business, VIP, commercial, military and government aircraft.
The project is expected to be on-going to meet the needs of the airspace mandate.