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Dassault in March announced a

major reorganization of the service center network for its Falcon business jets. The new strategy allows service centers to specialize, rather than offering a full portfolio of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for every aircraft model. It also kicks off a new phase of growth for the network, since smaller players have begun to be included. Currently, Dassault has five

company-owned service centers (DAS)—the latest being in Sorocaba, Brazil—and 26 authorized service centers (ASCs). At the time the ASCs were established, the basic philosophy was that each center needed to be fully equipped to support all Falcon models, up to “C” inspections. “While this philosophy works well in areas with large Falcon populations, such as Europe and the U.S., it proved less practical in some of the new emerging markets for business jets,” the France- based manufacturer explained. ASCs will now be allowed to

specialize in one or two Falcon models. Under this new approach, Dassault can find more candidates to join the network. Hence an expansion of what it calls its “footprint of service.” “We can now add smaller ‘line

service centers’ in areas with a high level of transient traffic but few aircraft based,” Franck Youngkin, vice president for customer service in the Western hemisphere, said. There are now three categories—heavy, major and line maintenance centers. “Heavy service centers” will provide

full customer support for all Falcon models. They are supposed to hold local regulatory approvals as well as those from the FAA and EASA. Most of the existing ASCs in North America and many in Europe fall into this category. They offer all levels of maintenance and inspections, rapid- response AOG (aircraft on ground) teams, refurbishments and upgrades. “Major service centers” will provide

full support for Falcons of a particular model series. They, too, are supposed to hold local regulatory approvals as well as those from the FAA and EASA. Services will typically include

all maintenance including AOG service and inspections through a ‘C’ check. Five centers located in Finland, Germany, Singapore, South Africa and the U.S. fall into this category. “Line service centers” will provide

support for specific Falcon models. They are supposed to hold a minimum of local regulatory approvals. Services include line maintenance up to “A” and “A+” checks. Thirteen centers in Dassault’s network now fall into this category. In addition, the business jet

manufacturer is introducing company- owned “satellite service stations.” They are an extension of an existing company-owned service center. A satellite service station is staffed with technicians, AOG support tooling and “a targeted inventory of spares.” The satellite service stations will

provide “basic line maintenance” up to “A” inspections. Each of them will have an AOG GoTeam. Such a team can be quickly dispatched to a grounded Falcon. It brings with it the parts and tools necessary to get the aircraft back in the air “with minimal delay,” the company explained. The first such facility in the United

operations seminars. A total of 14 seminars are being held this year in eight countries. During the one- day sessions, operators are given an opportunity for “closer interaction with model and support specialists as well as ASCs, vendors and partners.”

Caption: Dassault’s fifth company-owned

service center in Sorocaba, Brazil. The business jet manufacturer is reshuffling its service network to allow smaller players to join, too.

States was opened recently in St. Louis, Missouri. Other sites already in operation—and now transitioning to the “satellite” status—are located in Europe—Nice, Rome, Moscow and London. More locations for satellite service stations are being considered in the Northeast, Southeast and Western U.S. The move had long been in the

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works. Dassault had started releasing details on the new organization in 2009. However, at the time, the company was not talking about ASCs specializing in some aircraft models. Another aspect in enhancing customer support levels has been increasing the spare parts inventory. It is now valued at a total $650 million. According to Jacques Chauvet,

senior vp of worldwide customer service, the Falcon operator advisory board (OAB) was instrumental in devising the new strategy. Dassault also worked “very closely”

with the OAB to organize the 2010 series of regional maintenance and

Aviation Maintenance | | April/May 2010 29

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