MRO services are a crucial support for flight operations, as both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance represent the highest impact cost in aviation. To supply the MRO services Mexico’s fleet requires, the country has a total of 305 aeronautical workshops that provide support and maintenance services to both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. The MRO services helicopters require are highly different from those of airplanes and present significant opportunities within the aerospace value chain.
"A power unit with flight capabilities must always operate under the safest conditions marked by the manufacturer's guidelines," said Jorge Vega, Commercial Manager, ASESA MRO.
Out of the 305 MRO workshops in Mexico, 202 focus on airplanes and the remaining 103 specialize on helicopters, although most workshops service the commercial aviation sector. Mexico has a 7,040-aircraft fleet, considering commercial aircraft, business and government aircraft. Of that fleet, 703 aircraft are helicopters of eight brands: Agusta, Airbus, Bell Textron, Enstrom, MD, Robinson, Schweizer and Sikorsky. About 62 percent of the fleet is composed of Bell Textron helicopters, followed by Airbus with 18 percent and Agusta with 10 percent.
Generally, the maintenance provided falls into three distinct categories. The first is preventive maintenance, which is performed following a set amount of flight hours, aircraft cycles or warm-ups. The second is corrective maintenance, which is given to fix a failure reported during the pre-flight, flight or post-flight stages. Finally, there is the major repair of components, which occurs when more in-depth maintenance of the aircraft is required after a predetermined number of flight-cycles.
All aircraft in general must operate safely and efficiently. However, safety and reliability must be also balanced with maintenance costs to remain competitive and economically viable. For this reason, MROs must align their services’ supply with the productivity and profitability of the flight operations of different aircraft. To extend the value of aircraft assets, pertinent maintenance is a key element. "Maintenance is geared towards maintaining the value of the helicopter not only for its operation, but also to preserve its value as an asset," Vega noted.
HeliOffshore data reports that, between Jan. 2013 and Dec. 2019, a total of 65 aircraft accidents were recorded. Preventing these accidents is only possible through the regular and reliable maintenance of aircraft. "MROs are committed that, through safe operations, compliance with procedures, incorporation of management tools for planning, execution and supply chain, we generate the right conditions to provide the highest quality maintenance possible," said Vega.
ASESA MRO has consolidated its leadership by providing maintenance services that promote safety and reliability for the industry. In 2021, ASESA MRO covered 4,963 maintenance service orders. ASESA MRO is strategically distributed throughout the country thanks to its three workshops located in Mexico City, Monterrey and Ciudad del Carmen. The latter is the company's main base, where it assists the largest concentration of helicopters for oil and gas operations.
With 16,000 m2 of hangars in its three workshops, ASESA MRO has the capacity to service 30 helicopters on the shop floor simultaneously. In addition, the company has a Mobile Repair Team (MRT), which is a high-performance work unit that can go on site to attend failures outside the helicopter base. These capabilities set ASESA MRO aside from competitors when assisting helicopters’ maintenance.