US maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) provider Duncan Aviation is preparing to start work on a 20,440m² (220,000ft²), $50 million facility in Provo, Utah, to exploit the growing demand for its engineering services from the business aviation community.

Duncan – which bills itself as the largest family-owned business jet MRO operation in the world – currently leases a hangar at the municipal airport site from where it offers a handful of services.

“We will break ground on the new facility in the third quarter,"says Arjen Groeneveld, Duncan’s regional manager, Europe, Russia and the Middle East. "When it opens in 2019, it will offer a full-suite of nose-to-tail support on Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer and Gulfstream business jets.”

These services will include avionics upgrades, aircraft refurbishment and light and heavy maintenance checks.

Provo complements Duncan’s other major service centers in Battle Creek, Michigan, and Lincoln, Nebraska, plus 30 satellite service shops across the US.

“Although our facilities are US-based, we have become increasingly popular with international operators,” says Groeneveld. “Last year, international customers accounted for 20% of Duncan's multi-million dollar turnover and we hope to increase this share in 2017,” he adds.

Cessna Citation CJ3

Textron Aviation/Cessna

US certification in late April of Duncan’s Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion upgrade on the Cessna Citation CJ3 should help to bolster the company’s revenues this year. The first retrofitted light business jet was delivered immediately following approval, and the second example is earmarked for handover in June, says Groeneveld.

Duncan's MRO network is scheduled to perform the avionics upgrade on a further 20 CJ3s over the next 18 months.

European approval for the retrofit is also anticipated “within weeks”, says Groeneveld, and Duncan has partnered with Denmark’s Air Alsie and JetSupport of the Netherlands to offer the modification to owners and operators.

The new flightdeck – which replaces the Pro Line 21 system – includes three interchangeable 14in (35.5cm) displays with integrated touchscreen checklists, a high-resolution synthetic vision system and multi-sensor flight management system.

The CJ3 was launched by Cessna in 2002 and entered service two years later. The second and current iteration of the six-seat twin was introduced in 2014 featuring the Garmin G3000 cockpit. Flight Fleets Analyzer records a global fleet of 470 CJ3/+ aircraft, of which nearly 370 are based in the USA and 55 are in Europe.

Source: Flight International