MCAS Expands Hangar Space With More Growth Expected
WICHITA—Mid-Continent Aviation Services (MCAS) has expanded its maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities with the completion of a fourth hangar.
The FAA-approved Part 145 repair station, located at Wichita’s Eisenhower National Airport, supports business jet, turboprop, piston and rotorcraft aircraft. It also specializes in the Hawker 4000, Hawker 800-series and Beechcraft Premier model business jets.
In addition, MCAS locates and stocks hard-to-find legacy aircraft inventory and parts.
The $5.7 million hangar project, which began a year ago, replaces a 15,000 ft.² hangar with a new 31,500 ft.² hangar plus office space as the company grows. MCAS, which employs 30, plans to grow 40-50% over the next five years, officials say.
The company was founded in 2010 as an outgrowth of ICM, based in Colwich, Kansas. It originally was set up to support ICM’s corporate flight department. It remains an affiliate of ICM.
It’s a busy facility. For one, with a robust market for used aircraft, MCAS has been active performing pre-buy inspections for buyers of used aircraft. At its high, it was in the midst of performing five or six prebuy inspections at once, says Kelly Lousch, MCAS director.
“That’s a lot at the same time,” Lousch says. While that work has moderated some, pre-buy inspections remain an active part of the business.
One of the largest challenges is its supply chain, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and workforce shortages, and the need to forecast and plan for parts and component demands.
“You really have to start planning ahead to be able to maintain a shop,” Lousch says. “When customers are bringing the aircraft here, they expect that you’re going to have this readily available.”
MRO providers are starting to see long-term disruptions in their vendors, she says.
For example, suppliers that once offered expedited shipments now have such large back orders, they no longer offer to expedite, Lousch says. “So, you’ve got to get in line. There’s really no choice when they tell you something that’s going to be a 36-week lead time.”
It’s also common for estimated shipment dates to slip. That means Lousch must forecast demand over the next 12 months, especially for consumable items, such as tires, batteries and brakes, which have long lead times to arrive, and orders ahead.
In addition, “every model of aircraft is having problems with windshields,” she says. “It’s about getting the raw material. So, we go ahead and place those orders even though I don’t have a definite need.”
MCAS finds it an advantage to be located in Wichita with close proximity to Bombardier and Textron Aviation. The smaller size of MCAS also is an advantage, Lousch says, because it gives the company more agility to handle customers based on their unique needs.
“That’s where a lot of our reputation comes,” she says. “We’re a one-stop shop.”