Centreline Aviation Services Ltd., is registered in Ontario as a privately owned enterprise. The company officially got underway in January 2007 with the help of family, friends and colleagues. Initially, the business involved the owner, Len McKay, contracting out his services as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) to various Aircraft Maintenance Organizations (AMO) and private aircraft owners. Contracting in the aviation industry has limitations. It was decided to be more independent while at the same time maintain our connections in the aviation community, seeking out customers interested in our services. Choosing to be a small business owner is a challenging strategy. At the end of the day, aircraft maintenance is a very interesting trade which connects us with great people. Centreline follows ethical work and financial guidelines by employing a qualified bookkeeper and chartered accountant. From time to time a counsel of friends and family meet to freshen up the outlook and focus of the company.
TRANSPORT CANADA APPROVED
The legal basis for the company rests on the owner’s, Len McKay, maintenance license and qualifications, which are approved and monitored by Transport Canada. Len has over 30 years’ experience in aircraft maintenance and holds an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer license in the M1 & M2 category. He also holds a Commercial Pilots license. His background includes managing aircraft maintenance shops and projects as well as being part of a maintenance and flight crew on medium and heavy category aircraft. As a small business owner, he has applied his skills and works diligently at being organized and detailed in all respects. Ongoing professional training takes place on a frequent basis.
THE LONG ROAD OF SMALL BUSINESS
For the first few years, Centreline Aviation Services established a base at Greenbank Airport near Uxbridge Ontario. Greenbank airport was a great place to be until the amount of activity there dwindled. It was decided to move the business east to the Peterborough Municipal Airport. The operators we rented hangar space from were very accommodating. After a couple of years of marketing, the business started to grow.
You might know the common saying from our friends in Newfoundland, “Stay where you are, we’ll come where you’re to”. We asked the question, “Why not go to where customer hangar their aircraft? Our customers agreed, it would be far more convenient, less hassle and more cost effective to perform the maintenance at their location.
Mostly by word of mouth, our business has grown. Our customer base now extends throughout Southern and Eastern Ontario and as far north as the Muskoka area.
GOING MOBILE IS GOING PLACES
Going mobile with our services in 2012 ushered in a new era at Centreline Aviation. A small, 6ft X10ft trailer was purchased and outfitted as a mobile toolbox and off we went to our customers. Reluctantly, we left the hangar rental scene behind, not knowing if going 100% mobile was going to work. A few seasons past and we survived but needed to deal with vehicle running costs and some of the limitations of a single axle trailer. Vehicle running costs have stabilized and in August of 2016 the company took delivery of a new tandem axle 7ftX16ft cargo trailer and have since outfitted it as a mobile workshop. With this increase in capability and safety, we can come on site and get the work done with more efficiency than before. Working outside is challenging due to the changing weather, however, the new trailer offers shelter and security to the customer and aircraft components.
WE’VE GOT GOOD CONNECTIONS IN THE AVIATION INDUSTRY
As the year 2017 unfolds, Centreline Aviation is looking forward to serving our customers with renewed energy and experience. Over the past decade in aircraft maintenance, business relationships with various suppliers, manufacturers and specialized maintenance shops have developed. These relationships are vital business partnerships. We enjoy quick access to parts, repairs and technical backup. Access to these aviation companies means that we are able to deliver products and services at the best possible price and the least amount of time. See our “Connections” Page for more detail.
GIVING BACK: THE REWARDS OF BEING IN SERVICE
Before Centreline Aviation Services came into existence, our family was engaged in overseas charitable work, contributing to aircraft operations in Africa. Personally and corporately, we continue to assist these organizations that are in need of help. Since forming our company, Len has visited Africa twice to assist in month long projects with Flying Mission in Botswana and Africa Inland Mission in Kenya. It is very rewarding to be part of a worldwide aviation community that provides essential services to people in difficult places.
WHEN THINGS GO SOUTH
I (Len) had the unique opportunity to be contracted as a flight engineer on a Basler DC-3T to Antarctica for 10 weeks in 2009. As a crew member, I visited the research facility at the South Pole. On a balmy and very windy -52C day, my co-pilot and I were inspired to walk in a 100ft circle around the geographic South Pole marker, which means we walked around the world in about 5 minutes. Working in Antarctica was an unforgettable experience and a rare aviation experience to be part of the flight crew.