AVweb's Three Rs Initiative progressed with a meeting attended by leaders of the aircraft remanufacturing and refurbishment industry at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando Wednesday. AVweb Publisher Tom Bliss took input from stakeholders at this and earlier meetings and what's emerging is a standards organization that will set criteria for quality refurbishment of aircraft that have plenty of life left in them. "I see this not as a service business," Bliss said. "I see this as a remanufacturing business."
Representatives of the insurance industry said there are precedents in which aircraft that have essentially been rebuilt from scratch emerge as much higher-value planes than the original. With industry-recognized processes and standards behind aircraft under the Three Rs brand, it was generally agreed that they could carve out a high-value niche in the used market that would maintain that value in underwriting and policy deliberations. Bliss said the group would choose about a dozen designs from manufacturers that continue to support those aircraft and the goal would be to remanufacture 500 to 600 aircraft a year. Bliss noted that while the overarching goal is to breathe life into an ailing industry, the practical necessity is that companies have to make money on these aircraft. "This has to make business sense," he said. Next steps include implementing a marketing and communications strategy and more detailed discussions on aircraft types, scope of work and the standards of that work.