Going Where the Customers Are: Jetmakers and Product Support

Business aviation OEMs have started taking product support to the next level. And the 2014 calendar is packed with events where business jets will undoubtedly be converging: Super Bowl XVLIII, the Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are just three of these.

For the Super Bowl, an estimated 1,200 business jets will make their way to the greater New York area to take part in the festivities. Gulfstream will debut what really turns out to be a service center on wheels -- a specially equipped 74-foot tractor trailer filled to the nines with tools, parts and technology. The supersized FAST vehicle (Field and Airborne Support Teams) has been specially built to support special events in the US that sees a lot of Gulfstream traffic, according to Mark Burns, president, Product Support. It will be parked at the facilities of Gulfstream's sister company Jet Aviation at the Teterboro airport, and there will be a smaller FAST vehicle stationed at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains. After the Super Bowl, the tractor trailer will travel to around 20 major US events, including the Daytona 500 and The Masters.

Dassault Falcon's Go Team will also be on hand at Super Bowl XVLIII - although that's an easy venue for them to cover since Dassault Falcon's American headquarters is located at the Teterboro Airport -- where most of the business jets will be landing. But they're taking the opportunity of the Super Bowl to host a VIP event to show off a full-sized mockup of the interior of their newly introduced 5X. The invitation-only event takes place prior to kickoff, when the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will battle it out to determine which team will become football's champions.

For both the Winter Olympics venue in Sochi, and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Dassault Falcon will be deploying its technical support "Go Team". For the Winter Olympics, in addition to having support on hand at the Sochi Airport, its Satellite Service Center in Moscow will be on standby for AOG issues, and a parts service out of their facilities in St. Cloud, France will be at the ready. The "Go Team" is part of their trademarked customer commitment programme, called "Whatever-It-Takes".

Being on the ground, and present makes a lot of sense. For the OEMs, just being there means that they can lend helping hands to aircraft in trouble, but it also sends a strong message of support to their customer base, reinforcing their commitment.