Heli-One Poland is the most recent addition to the Heli-One network. It launched officially in 2014, with Robert Kyc brought on board as General Manager to build the business.
“The discussions about where best to locate the business were already ongoing in 2013,” says Mr. Kyc. “At first we rented a hangar from the airport and carried out servicing there. However, in June 2014 we opened a new hangar on our own property, utilizing the latest maintenance technology and the expertise of our other facilities.”
Mr. Kyc’s role is to develop the business in Poland and build a team that can carry the global company’s vision forward. “We already have a great team of people with unrivalled technical knowledge, but we are always looking for suitably qualified people to expand our team,” says Mr. Kyc. “We are fishing in a limited pool compared to other businesses because we do not just need qualified engineers. They also have to be certified for the helicopters in our service portfolio.”
This portfolio has expanded significantly since starting out with Airbus Super Puma long-range transport helicopters. Heli-One now supports six models from the range. It also supports Leonardo Helicopter’s AW139 helicopter, three models from the Bell Helicopter range and a further three from Sikorsky.
“Many of our clients operate mixed fleets, so we have to ensure that we can service as many models as possible,” says Mr. Kyc. “Adding new models to the portfolio is a complicated process. You need experienced people and formal approval, and you have to undergo regular audits and training to keep certificates up to date.”
Heli-One provides a full range of maintenance and repair services on the helicopters it supports. “We have the capabilities to support helicopters from nose to tail and are constantly adding new capabilities,” says Mr. Kyc. “We specialize in heavy maintenance and airframe services, whereby a project can last up to five months. Even with such major projects, we always ensure that we deliver on time.”
The company has developed a standard process to identify what the customer needs and deliver the highest possible quality service. “Quality is non-negotiable for us,” adds the General Manager. “I believe we offer the best quality in the world.”
Heli-One has invested heavily in its people and in lean processes that ensure jobs are completed quickly. “Downtime for aircraft is extremely expensive for the owners, so it is down to us to provide value for money and as quick a turnaround as possible,” says Mr. Kyc. “We utilize optimized repair processes and have our own component overhaul service and spare parts inventory to speed up repairs. We also have a mobile repair team to work at the customer’s premises.”
The Polish operation is stragically located in Poland’s aviation valley close to major Central European operators. This means it is ideally placed to service operators in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The 22,000 m² facility currently employs 80 highly educated and skilled engineers, technicians and managers.
The facility has been purpose built for the job and features time-saving innovations such as pop-up floor outlets and a pneumatic parts delivery system for maximum efficiency. The company cooperates with the local aviation university and has a formal agreement with the Polish aviation regulatory body as a training organization, taking students on placements.
“At present we have the capabilities to support the Airbus AS332, H225 and H135 models, and the AW139 from Leonardo Helicopters,” says Mr. Kyc. “The number of models supported will increase in the future, and we are working hard to make this happen as soon as possible. The goal is to cover all of our clients’ needs from a single source. In a few years’ time, they will not have to shop in different places for their fleet maintenance.”