Think speed, energy, heritage, innovation, and customers. That is the mantra of Cessna Aircraft Company as the world’s leading general aviation company charges forward to raise industry standards in today’s competitive marketplace. The drive for success from Cessna’s leadership is contagious as CEO Scott Ernest challenges his more than 7,800 employees to think differently, increase product quality and exceed customer expectations—all while standing on the company’s reliable foundation of eighty-five years of corporate heritage.
Cessna’s plan for a dynamic 2012 has been readily embraced, as the Wichita, Kansas based business works hard to grow aircraft sales and deliveries, execute new product development programs, expand its aftermarket service business, and engage its thriving workforce across the world. But the Midwest isn’t the only beneficiary of Cessna’s business activity; this global company is also making a significant impact on local economies—including right here in Florida.
FLORIDA ECONOMY: Cessna Makes the Sunshine State Even Sunnier
Certainly the most visible economic impact that Cessna has made on Florida is through the Orlando Citation Service Center, totaling 187,000 square feet of maintenance and office facilities, located at the Orlando International Airport. As one of the ten total Citation Service Centers owned and operated by Cessna that support the Citation business jet family of aircraft, the Citation Service Center provides Cessna jet customers with 24-hour service and maintenance with around-the-clock parts support.
The Orlando Citation Service Center employs over 200 people, paid at competitive salaries, who provide customers with personalized service, fast response, careful handling, on-time delivery, and work done right the first time. This goal is supported by dedicated employees with some of the highest loyalty and service record in business aviation.
Now the second largest Citation Service Center next to the one in the Wichita, the Orlando Citation Service Center was originally established in 1978 in West Palm Beach and then moved to Orlando in 1983. In 2004, the service center expanded and moved to a new location on the Orlando International Airport property. The new, larger, more modern building paid local builders $30 million in construction costs and continues to pay Central Florida’s utility services about $50,000 each month.
With over 6,100 jets in the Citation fleet and all the various services that they offer, it’s easy to understand why the Orlando Citation Service Center is a 24/7 operation. In fact, Walter Berchtold, Regional Vice President, Customer Service, says, there aren’t even any light switches in the hangar bays: “If you want to turn off the lights, you have to trip the breakers.” Last year, Cessna’s Customer Service network as a whole serviced more than 26,000 aircraft. They averaged more than 3,000 emails, faxes, or phone calls per day and moved more than 11 million parts through its facilities.
In addition to the Orlando Citation Service Center’s contributions to local employment and vendor supportive businesses (aircraft cleaning, non-destructive testing, interior shops, etc.), Cessna is bringing growth to Florida’s economy by “in-sourcing” service work from across the globe. Technicians work on light and mid-sized jets from Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Chile, the Caymans, and Europe because of special permissions granted by the foreign aviation authorities for skilled repairs that meet their specific requirements. This international maintenance, in addition to the US registered aircraft that originate from Central and South America, has allowed the Orlando Citation Service Center to weather the economic downturn better during the past several years. See more information about the Orlando Citation Service Center here: https://support.cessna.com/docs/custsupt/servicecenter/servcenter-orlando.shtml
Cessna’s business jet maintenance service in Florida also extends beyond Orlando to a Mobile Service Unit (MSU) that is pre-positioned at Sheltair Aviation, Fort Lauderdale International Airport (KFLL), with a local crew to perform maintenance events across South Florida. In 2011, Cessna’s MSU’s handled more than 2,300 service events in the field, with procedures up to and including Citation X engine exchanges.
CESSNA’S FLORIDA AFFILIATES: Supporting Independently Owned Aviation Businesses
In Cessna’s single engine product market, the reach of Cessna’s positive impact begins long before aircraft