Oriens Aviation has signed an agreement with Pilatus Aircraft to extend its UK and Ireland Authorised Pilatus Centre at London Biggin Hill Airport to the PC-24 Super Versatile Jet.
Oriens is ramping up tooling and sending engineers to Stans, Switzerland for training to add the twin-engined jet to its Part 145 MRO approvals. It expects to achieve this by the end of the third quarter.
“We are delighted to be widening our partnership with Pilatus with the new PC-24 and looking forward to creating a sales centre showcase at our Biggin Hill home,” said Oriens Aviation CEO Edwin Brenninkmeyer.
“The aircraft is a real game-changer in the light jet market, blending the short field performance of a turboprop, the speed of a light jet and a generous cabin, akin to that offered by mid-sized jets.
“The large cargo door, 10 passenger seats and unique unpaved field performance capable of landing and taking off from both paved and unpaved runways of 893m and above makes this jet unlike any other.”
Oriens’ announcement comes on the first anniversary of the business opening its Authorised Pilatus Service Centre and a successful four years as the OEM’s representative, facilitating the introduction of ten Pilatus PC-12s into service in its region.
Its MRO activity was recently bolstered with the addition of Stuart Locke, from TAG Farnborough Maintenance Services as General Manager, at the beginning of this year.
Locke plans to triple the number of productive manhours, 90% of which is devoted to the Pilatus PC-12, through the introduction of new processes and work methods, responding to the peaks in MRO activity. Oriens is also upping its technician and engineering resources.
Late last year, Oriens agreed an alliance with Oysterair and secured UK CAA approval to start pilot training courses at its Biggin base.
“The emphasis is to combine traditional teaching methods with modern multi-media platforms in a course that covers EASA and FAA approvals and class ratings,” said Jonathan Shooter, Managing Director of Oysterair. “All PC-12 instructors working with Oriens actively fly the PC-12 as line pilots.”
Through close collaboration with fractional PC-12 operator Jetfly and Bournemouth Aviation Services, Oriens Aviation is now supporting over 20 Pilatus PC-12 aircraft with a number of private UK customers moving over from Bournemouth.