PAG Canada Shop Expansion

June 12, 2024

By: Garth Roberts, Director of Operations PAG-Canada 

June 12, 2024

COVID-19 brought a period of uncertainty, new rules, dramatic reductions, fear, and compromise. However, amidst these challenges, PAG found innovative ways to grow and expand in unprecedented ways, exemplified by PAG-Canada’s remarkable journey. 

As the world started to recover post-COVID, PAG-Canada embarked on an aggressive expansion plan, targeting new markets and increasing our capabilities. Over the past two years, we have significantly broadened our scope, adding capabilities (CAPs) to cover the Dash-8 classic market, expanding our support for our Beechcraft operators, and increasing our presence in the Dash-8 Q400 market. This strategic expansion included entering into a working contract with DeHavilland Canada, positioning us as their premier Starter Generator repair center for their Power By The Hour (PBH) program, supporting over 300 aircraft. Our efforts have resulted in a 30% increase in throughput and a threefold increase in our Work in Progress (WIP). 

Last year, PAG-Canada took a significant step forward by acquiring the assets of Helicopter Accessory Service Canada (HAS-C), a move that included hiring three highly experienced technicians, each with over 20 years of expertise in helicopter hydraulic component repairs. This acquisition provided us with an extensive technical library, specialized tooling, heavy equipment, shop equipment, piece parts, customer WIP, and all HAS-C stock assets. As a result, our shop has expanded to cover an additional 11 hydraulic part numbers, with 15 more capabilities in progress as we transition the AMO to a new rating that includes Landing Gear. We have established ourselves as the world’s premier provider of S61 hydraulic component repair and overhaul, and we are now offering quality S76 hydraulic repair and overhaul services, with plans to offer S76 and S61 Landing Gear repair & overhaul in the upcoming months. 

In addition to the physical and operational growth, we have also focused on building stronger relationships with our customers and support partners. By continually building a synergy between sales and operations, and by prioritizing customer satisfaction and maintaining open lines of communication, we have been able to identify and address their needs more effectively. This customer-centric approach has not only solidified our current partnerships but also opened doors to new opportunities and collaborations, as we have done with De Havilland Canada who will bring in over 1M in projected annual revenue and has opened 3 new technical positions in our shop.  

As we look to the future, PAG-Canada remains committed to sustaining this momentum. We are exploring further expansion opportunities in Canada to continue growing our market share and enhancing our service offerings. Our focus will remain on innovation, quality, safety and customer satisfaction as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the aviation industry.  

This ambitious expansion required us to grow our facilities, enhance our Quality Management System (QMS), and elevate our Health & Safety program to support a larger organization, with an increased headcount of over 20 employees. Over the past two years, we have been diligently working on these improvements, and we are proud to share our accomplishments with the rest of the PAG extended family.  

Phase One: The Wheel & Brake Shop Expansion 

This journey began over four years ago when we decided to relocate our warehouse to an adjacent newly leased unit. Initially, we cleared the necessary space to accommodate the future Wheel & Brake shop. 

We paused during COVID but resumed our expansion of the Wheel & Brake shop two years ago. As seen in the photo below, the old shop was cramped and overloaded. While it was organized and clean, there was no room for future CAPs expansion, and the work areas were too tight to handle any increase in throughput.  

BEFORE: The old shop, SG, Hyd, Office, testing rooms, and W&B all in one location. 

We began construction of the new W&B shop, and a support machine shop to better accommodate our growth.  

AFTER: Following many months of dust, contractors, electricians, and a major move, we have successfully segregated the Wheel & Brake shop from the SG shop. This expansion included a significant electrical upgrade to improve power distribution, enhance lighting, and support new equipment. 

The new machine/support shop 

AFTER: Our SG shop is now open, spacious, well laid out, and organized, providing ample room for future growth. We have expanded the bench space, now accommodating up to six SG technicians comfortably, ensuring efficiency and productivity. 

AFTER: The view from the back of the SG shop looking forward. 

Phase two: The HAS Hydraulic Shop Expansion:  

This was by far the largest expansion project we have undertaken at PAG-C, necessitated by the purchase of HASC. Beginning this entire plan in August 2023, we have established an impressive facility in less than a year. This move and expansion needed to happen simultaneously and swiftly, without compromising our production, safety, or quality. We had to sort, move, and find new places for a 30-year collection of equipment, tooling, piece parts, and work-in-progress (WIP). 

The project included several sub-phases: 

  • Building a new, modern NDT shop and additional washroom facilities for our increased headcount of technicians. 
  • Relocating the piece parts warehouse, the HAS inventory, and the shop air compressors to our upstairs mezzanine. 
  • Relocating the hydraulic test room, adding the HAS Hydraulic Test Stand, and housing its large hydraulic power pack to meet the high flow requirements of the new CAPS we introduced. 
  • Building a fully enclosed, soundproof Starter Gen Test Cell room, with the addition of a secondary test stand for increased throughput. 
  • Renovating and adding new equipment to our Dirty Room, which serves as the cleaning, preparation, and paint shop. 

BEFORE: The piece parts warehouse was on the main floor area, but needed to be relocated to allow for the new hydraulic shop area to be built.  

AFTER: Located where the piece part warehouse once was situated, is our new Hydraulic Shop. A combined 65 years of helicopter hydraulics repair experience is at work here each and every day.  

New NDT shop has been built, with adequate space, work benches, LPI dip tanks, and a Magnetic Particle inspection Bench. Complete with built in black lighting! 

AFTER: New Piece part warehouse, with additional stock locations from the HAS purchased inventory. This new space has lots of area for picking parts, and creating build kits.  

BEFORE: Old Hydraulic test room had to be moved to allow for construction of the new SG test Cell and Hydraulic Power Pack room 

AFTER: Now located in a new space, separated from the power pack, a purpose built test area for hydraulics  only.  

New SG Test Cell area, with second Vari-Drive unit, ready for testing.   

WIP Shelves are now well organized, and all located in one spot, segregated from the work areas, which makes it easier and safer for the support staff to drop parts, work packs and such into the bins. .  

BEFORE: The old dirty room, very full, and unable to take on any new equipment. 

AFTER: The new dirty room is well lit, spacious, and clean. New sandblasters, cleaning equipment and paint drying areas were added.  

Overview shot of the 3 shop areas.  

Examples of some new products this expansion has allowed us to offer customers:  

From Left to Right – S7 Main Rotor Servo, S61 Aux Servo, S61 Main Rotor Damper 

Phase 3: Warehouse renovation, and re-organization 

Following the initial warehouse renovation, and expansion 4 years ago, we have already felt the requirement to change the work areas and flow, as well as increasing the shelving areas for pallet sized loads. We have also added a segregated receiving area or the shop.  

BEFORE: The shipping and receiving areas, after the renovation, and reorganization 4 years ago.  

The receiving area is under the pallet shelves, and the shipping and computer stations are on desks at the back of the warehouse. We found the space clunky, disorganized and under utilized.  

BEFORE: The main warehouse was also under utilized, and poorly organized. Leaving only floor space for oversized containers and boxes.

AFTER: The new shipping area is well organized, engaging LEAN principles the workflow is more efficient, with all packing materials and the computer terminals within reach. We also designed the whole warehouse with a “north/south” linear flow, to reduce footsteps when picking. 

AFTER: The main warehouse is well utilized now, adding pallet shelving, tire storage racking, and well-organized inventory shelving.  

AFTER: New receiving areas, both with terminals set up on the bench areas for ease of use. Work areas are well lit and well organized.  

About PAG

Others Sell Parts, We Sell Support.

PAG is built on the trust of our customers, and our team members are an important part of our successful, growing business that is committed to customer service. We’ve built our legacy on our ability to respond and deliver the highest quality.

At PAG, employees get the exchange of talent, experiences, and resources of multiple companies all while working for one. With 22 Repair Stations, and over 900,000-square-feet of sales and service facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Brazil – PAG’s 24 locations and customer-focused business model serve aviation customers through Supply Chain and Inventory Supported Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (ISMRO®) services. PAG is one of only 11 companies, outside of OEMs, to collectively hold all FAA certifications.

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