Daron Dryer, CEO at Comlux Completion, explains some of the measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – and which will be permanent.
Have you been able to stay open/offer your full array of services throughout?
Comlux Completion was able to stay open during the entire crisis, except for a short period when we conducted a full sanitisation of our facilities and implemented new health, safety and distancing measures as per WHO regulations. The extent of services we were able to offer varied as we navigated the various state and federal orders. People who were able to work effectively in a remote fashion were allowed to do so. From a production standpoint, we had to work at reduced capacity using only essential personnel during staggered shifts. Now we are fully open and operating at pre-COVID-19 efficiencies.
What new operational procedures have you implemented?
During the height of the crisis, we implemented several measures to ensure safety and continued operations. These included remote work when feasible; splitting the workforce into shifts separated by more than an hour to prevent cross contamination; extensive professional surface cleaning and area fogging between shifts; distribution of masks to all employees, which they had to wear when on the premises; enhanced controlled entry to the facility; 6ft spacing markers at clocking-in points and other common areas; and we closed all break rooms, coffee machines, refrigerators, etc.
How has demand been impacted?
The impact depends on the individual circumstances of the owner and the situation in their country. Some owners continue to fly almost as before, others fly less, and some do not fly at all. That means some have regular service needs, other have less need but are using the time to make upgrades, and yet others are delaying certain work. There is increased demand for our cabin air ionisation solution, which not only makes flying safer but also more pleasant. All in all, we are staying very busy with lots of projects.
Have you had staffing challenges?
Comlux has been able to retain and add staffing during this time, so no, staffing has not been an impact as of yet.
Have you had supply chain challenges?
We noted increased lead times from a few suppliers who were most affected. Importing materials was problematic due to restrictions and decreased cargo capacity.
What other challenges have you faced?
Though we were able to stay open, remote efforts and split shifts did decrease our efficiency.
Have you adapted to make more use of technological tools?
Comlux already made heavy use of cloud-based systems and collaborative software. So the only change we had to make was to increase bandwidth and secure more licenses, which we did well in advance of the full need.
Are there changes you’ve made that you think will be permanent?
The digital infrastructure changes we put in place will remain.
Are you planning any adjustments to your operations in light of these predictions?
Comlux is implementing enhanced video collaboration methods, even to support first article inspections, and we expect this to become more commonplace in our practice. We are also developing our VIP cabin air quality solutions; we can implement an ionisation system on an aircraft’s existing Environment Control System, ensuring cabin air purification and sterilisation.
Has your company been involved in community support projects?
Comlux Aviation, in conjunction with our client Crystal Air Cruises, leveraged the BBJ 777 Crystal Skye to conduct eight missions (flying 100,000 nautical miles in total) in which 250 tonnes of humanitarian cargo was transported in direct support of COVID-19 efforts.
Check out the July 2020 issue of Business Jet Interiors International for a full report on how completion centres around the world have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cabin hygiene webinar
Daron Dryer is one of four expert speakers confirmed for Business Jet Interiors International’s upcoming webinar, Hygiene Innovation For Business Jet Cabins. The other three business jet interiors specialists on the panel are Jay Beever, vice president of Embraer Design Operations; Debi Cunningham, vice president of marketing at West Star Aviation; and Judy Miller, aircraft interior designer at Judy Miller Design.
The panel will address topics including customer needs and requirements across the charter, fractional, corporate, private and VIP segments; key avenues for research and development, from air quality to materials and cleaning solutions; and possible long-term implications for aircraft interior design.
The webinar will be held on Tuesday 9 March 2021 at 7:00 CET/16:00 GMT/11:00 EST/10:00 CST/8:00 PST; co-presented by Izzy Kington, editor of Business Jet Interiors International, and Matthew Nicholls, sales director at Tapis and a materials scientist.