Completion and refurbishment centers

Buyers' Guide » 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 5:00am

Cabin completion or refurbishment is second only to buying the airplane in terms of price and importance.

Where should you have the job done? Those who purchase a new, or "green," airplane typically have the interior built and installed by the manufacturer. You also have the option of using an independent completion center. Most such centers focus on refurbishment of used airplanes, but large facilities handle green aircraft as well. Some aircraft manufacturers offer interior refurbishment of used aircraft, though sometimes only on their own airplanes.

A handful of centers focus exclusively on interior work on airliners being converted to an executive/VIP configuration. Some have the approval of manufacturers such as Airbus and Boeing to build and install interiors on their green aircraft. Most do both green completion work and refurbishment of older aircraft.

Perhaps a dozen independent completion and refurbishment centers focus exclusively on helicopter interiors, for customers ranging from executives and law enforcement to news media and emergency medical services.

Many independent completion and refurbishment centers offer such additional services as maintenance and avionics modifications and installation. This allows refurbishment to be done at the same time as repairs and other work, minimizing down time.

Aircraft manufacturers and independent completion and refurbishment centers either do exterior painting or outsource that job.

The list that follows includes manufacturer and independent completion and refurbishment centers, plus some exterior-paint shops.

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“They have to make their own decisions, but I just hope I compete with them. I get to work while they get to stand in line at the airport. ”

-Mark Cuban, referring to executives who, fearing negative public perception, don’t fly privately.