Everyone will agree that a very important part of every business success is Customer Support. The product can be genious, but without great support of customers, nothing is possible. Congratulations,Gulfstream was recognized the many achievements of the Customer Support organization in 2020, including operations expansions across the globe, new technologies for Gulfstream aircraft and continued success in sustainability.
“Considering the many challenges the industry faced this year, we are proud of what we were able to accomplish in support of our customers,” said Derek Zimmerman, president, Gulfstream Customer Support. “We have seen continued demand for aircraft support and have rolled out modern facilities and new technologies to make operators’ experiences even better.”
In February, Gulfstream announced a new service center at Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas. The 160,000-square-foot/14,864-square-meter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility is scheduled to break ground in the first quarter of 2021 and open in 2022.
In July, Gulfstream opened an all-new, 225,000-sq-ft/20,903-sq-m service center in Farnborough, England. The facility can accommodate up to 13 large-cabin aircraft, including the Gulfstream G700™. Gulfstream Farnborough offers MRO services, as well as interior refurbishments and aftermarket modifications. In line with Gulfstream’s sustainability strategy, the Farnborough facility has been designed with environmental benefits, including rainwater harvesting, radiant heating systems in the purpose-built hangar, intelligent lighting controls and heat recovery systems. To complement the Farnborough site, Gulfstream FAST™ Field & Airborne Support Teams continue to maintain a presence at London Luton Airport for arrivals, departures and aircraft-on-ground (AOG) service.
In August, Gulfstream introduced a modernized service center in Palm Beach, Florida, shared with Jet Aviation. The all-new joint facility is nearly 161,000 sq ft/14,960 sq m, with over 104,000 sq ft/9,600 sq m dedicated to Gulfstream. The facility can accommodate up to seven Gulfstream G650ER™ or G650™ aircraft. With nearly two decades in the area, the all-new facility offers a broad range of services, including major inspections; structural modifications and repairs; and major avionics installations and system upgrades. The Palm Beach service center is well-positioned to support customers in domestic and international markets, including South America.
Gulfstream also opened a Customer Support parts hub in Atlanta, reducing shipping and delivery times and providing faster service to customers. Gulfstream’s partner in this operation is Crane Worldwide Logistics, which provides the warehouse space and handles logistics services. The Gulfstream parts network includes the main Customer Support Distribution Center in Savannah with additional distribution centers in Van Nuys, California; Teterboro, New Jersey; Amsterdam; Hong Kong; and Singapore. Gulfstream’s global parts inventory totals almost $1.6 billion.
Gulfstream also rolled out new technologies that address customer wellness and increase connectivity. Gulfstream introduced an air purification system to its signature Gulfstream Cabin Experience, further investing in customer health through plasma ionization. This additional enhancement, which complements Gulfstream’s already 100% fresh-air environment, has proven in lab tests to kill pathogens. The plasma ionization system is available as a retrofit on the Gulfstream G650 and G650ER, G550™, G450™ and GV™ models, with additional installation options pending foreign certification.
Gulfstream also introduced a high-speed, dual connectivity option for Gulfstream G650 and Gulfstream G650ER aircraft. Provided by Viasat, the system gives customers access to internet speeds that are some of the fastest in the industry. Viasat’s Ku/Ka dual band terminal seamlessly switches between satellites, providing customers with fast and consistent coverage across the world. A streaming video service is also available, so customers can stream their favorite high-definition content without compromising connectivity.
To further elevate the passenger experience, Gulfstream integrated the Gulfstream Cabin Management System with the Satcom Direct Router, giving operators and cabin crew the ability to determine the availability of wireless connections and bandwidth to provide the best connectivity possible. With this integration, the crew has better visibility to Wi-Fi operations and bandwidth usage, allowing passengers to better prioritize devices.
Gulfstream also continued its commitment to enhancing productivity by equipping the Gulfstream G280™ with high-speed, high-capacity Ka-band connectivity with Viasat’s in-flight connectivity system (IFC). Supplied through Viasat’s Global Aero Terminal 5510 system, the IFC is available as a retrofit to current G280 operators, with service covering the contiguous U.S., the North Atlantic and Europe, and enables videoconferencing; TV, music and movie streaming; VPN connectivity; web browsing; and the ability to email large files.
Gulfstream Customer Support continues its commitment toward sustainability through several different avenues. The carbon offset service is among a comprehensive portfolio of offerings in the company’s turnkey support, operations and maintenance program, Aircraft Ownership Service (AOS). Through the carbon offset program, participants pay an annual fee based on aircraft utilization to fund activities that generate an equal reduction in carbon emissions. The support and commitment of partners to use offsets to balance their emissions help Gulfstream-sponsored projects. This commitment has already aided environmental projects, including protecting threatened forests and producing wind energy.
Gulfstream’s Savannah-based aircraft, including those used by Gulfstream FAST, regularly fly on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), contributing to the more than 1.3 million nautical miles the company has flown on SAF.
“Seeing our accomplishments during such a turbulent year gives us confidence in what we can achieve in the coming years,” said Zimmerman. “Our employees continue to provide first-class service, and we look forward to doing even more of that in 2021.”
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