The trials and Covid-19 related tribulations of the past few months have presented unique problems for all businesses. For specialist aviation services provider RVL Group the challenges have been particularly testing, not least because its many customers depend on RVL’s ability to keep their people and air freight moving on time and on budget.
Now that cautious first steps are being taken on the path to business normality, East Midlands Airport-based RVL reflects on a job well done to professional standards, and the positive lessons learned during the crisis.
RVL’s engineering department, headed by Dean Simpkins, was at the forefront of maintaining operational normality during the darker days of the pandemic. “Unlike some airlines, RVL was never going to close down,” he said. “We have customers who rely on us to provide them with a service, and it was our job in Engineering to ensure that aircraft would be available for scheduled activity. Every customer is important to RVL and we do whatever it takes so that we never let them down. This includes our Government agency customers, healthcare sector customers and all those who are in the commercial sector. Letting any of them down in any way was, and is, not an option.
“The first thing that we had to organise was a shift pattern which could maintain the required level of service, so we split our 12 aircraft engineers into three individual teams, each working four days on and eight days off. This 12-day rotating shift pattern gave us the flexibility we needed so that, should a team member fall ill, we would have had two further teams any one of which could step in if needed while their colleagues were isolating.”
Thankfully there were no problems involving Covid-19 for any of the engineering staff. The department was able not only to meet its regular targets but also to take on further work which previously had been contracted out to other companies. “That helped us meet operational requirements as well as providing financial benefits for the company,” adds Simpkins.
“Though the health of our staff was fortunately never an issue, there were of course challenges to be worked through. Lead times on aircraft parts from the USA were sometimes extended, and of course many of our suppliers’ staff were, like us, working from home on occasion, which could give rise to difficulties.
“However, there was never a moment when I felt RVL’s service delivery dropped as a result
of the pandemic, which is a credit to everyone here. We have even taken some positives from the upheaval. For example, many of our engineering people have developed and grown both their abilities and their confidence, and feel more empowered in their roles.
“Now that we are moving towards a level of normality, we are taking things cautiously, recognise the risks and adapt accordingly so that RVL Group remains on a solid and secure footing, ready to react. We continue to be resilient and maintain our positive and constructive outlook.”
About RVL Group
RVL Group is a specialist aviation services provider based at East Midlands Airport. Formed after a management buyout in 2007, the company relocated its core business from Coventry Airport to East Midlands Airport in autumn 2010 following completion of its state-of-the-art purpose-built hangar and maintenance facility.
Operating and maintaining its own fleet of 16 aircraft, RVL Group provides services to a range of private and public sector clients and offers expertise in areas as diverse as aerial surveillance and survey, passenger and cargo ad hoc and long-term charter, temporary and permanent aircraft modifications for project work and aerial spraying of pollution dispersants. RVL Group and its wholly-owned operating subsidiaries are holders of various UK, European and US regulatory approvals to conduct almost all types of aerial activity and full maintenance on a wide range of aircraft and components. These include EASA AOC and CAA Type A Operating licence, Part 145, Part M, Approved Training Organisation and Dangerous Goods approvals.
Building 21, Anson Road
East Midlands Airport
Derby DE74 2SA
Switchboard: +44 (0) 1332 819 830
- Dave Connor, Managing Director
- John Blauth, Communication Director
High Resolution images of the RVL fleet, Air Tech hangar operations and Management team are available. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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