01.05.18-Articles-Aircraft Management
01.05.18-Articles-Aircraft Management

Aircraft Management, Maintenance, and Concerns Over a ‘Conflict of Interest’

In the realm of private aviation, there is an abundance of choices as to how an aircraft is managed and operated— with topics ranging from maintenance and cabin upgrades to crewing, fueling, insurance, subscriptions, charter, and more. The wide range of topics and expertise in each, that is required to make the best decision for you and your aircraft, is extensive. Thus, the role of the aircraft management company— which employs a team of experts with in-depth knowledge across a broad range of topics— is essential. If the management company’s role is to provide unbiased advice on where, when and how your aircraft should be maintained; should the management company also be offering the maintenance, avionics, and support services?

The ‘Conflict of Interest’ debate

Does a “conflict of interest’ exist or not when a management company also provides maintenance services? Some argue that the owner is best served by obtaining maintenance from outside providers and not from their management company. The logic is that if a management company also offers maintenance, they force (or at the very least, strongly encourage) the maintenance be done in-house—even if there is a lower cost, shorter downtime, or more experienced options elsewhere. The opinion to have maintenance and management occur at the same location is said to be conflictual because the management company may not always be finding the best maintenance solution that is in the owners best interests. On the flip side, there are individuals who strongly advocate the significant benefits of in-house maintenance; when administered correctly by the management company.  Regardless of which side you take, the decision on where maintenance should take place should be made on which provider offers the best combination of expertise, downtime, price and other important factors.

The facts of aircraft maintenance

In survey after survey, the number one reason why individuals own a jet is that it saves time. Owners find the ability to travel when and where they want— with exclusivity, privacy and comfort— not only appealing for personal reasons but beneficial for business purposes as well.

When properly administered by a management company— with substantial maintenance expertise, tooling, and resources— in-house maintenance significantly reduces downtime and lowers costs. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Competitive Quotes: A quality management company will obtain bids from third-party providers; in addition to providing a quote of their own. If there is an outside provider— that offers a higher overall benefit of time or cost savings— that company will be recommended. Furthermore, because the management company has in-house maintenance expertise, they are more knowledgeable on analyzing quotes to ensure the most efficient and professional course of action is implemented.
  2. Schedule optimization: When maintenance is on-site, or near the airport where your aircraft is hangared, a lot of maintenance tasks can be accomplished around the owner’s flight schedule. Additionally, as the management company, the priorities of both the aircraft manager and the owner are in alignment. Both parties want to reduce costs and downtime so as to maximize the owner’s use and enjoyment of the aircraft.
  3. Better Oversight: In the instances when using a third-party maintenance provider is the best option, having a management company who understands the functions and workflow of an in-house maintenance facility can greatly benefit an owner versus utilizing a management company that does not have in-house expertise.

Convenience. Excellence. Simplicity.

Management companies with in-house maintenance departments provide the ultimate peace of mind for the aircraft owner; knowing that the work is completed efficiently and correctly. Clay Lacy Aviation developed in-house management, charter, maintenance, avionics, aircraft sales, and FBO services at one location, not to force aircraft owners to stay with the company’s services, but as a ‘value-added option.’ These services are conveniently available to serve the best interests of the aircraft owner. “Over the past 50 years, we have assembled a comprehensive set of services, in-house, to provide greater flexibility and value for our clients,” says Joe Barber, Director of Aircraft Management, at Clay Lacy Aviation. “Our in-house team is highly experienced, professionally trained and has received the FAA Diamond Award and NATA Five Star award for maintenance and training excellence.” Joe continues.

The services provided by Clay Lacy enable our clients to use their aircraft more efficiently and maintain the asset value. “Experience eliminates waste,” Joe continues. “We have the experience to advise on the best options for an aircraft, encourage owners to seek more than one opinion, and work closely to create an ownership experience that our clients can trust.”

Interested in aircraft management services with Clay Lacy?

Joe Barber

805-915-9980 or jbarber@claylacy.com