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Business as usual for Shepherd AeroBusiness as usual for Shepherd Aero

Global flight support firm delivers on time despite COVID-19 challenges Global flight support firm delivers on time despite COVID-19 challenges

In the face of quarantines, travel bans, and airport closures, the coronavirus pandemic has stifled much of the aviation industry, but one aircraft acquisition firm is still flying high.

Getting this Piper Meridian from the United Kingdom to Missouri required a few extra steps during the global pandemic. Photo courtesy of Shepherd Aero.

Shepherd Aero, which specializes in in aircraft delivery, training, and management, has developed coronavirus testing for its crewmembers both before and after ferry missions, in addition to implementing strict safety measures while on duty. As part of the new risk management protocols, each crewmember carries one of the testing certificates on delivery trips.

Because of the safety precautions, Shepherd Aero was able to continue international operations and complete its mission of delivering aircraft to new owners despite constantly changing airport and airspace restrictions. The firm recently conducted an international ferry mission flying a Piper Meridian from Bournemouth Airport in the United Kingdom to its new home in Jefferson City, Missouri.

“Last year, a normal transaction would have a certificate of airworthiness issued a few days after closing, and we would expect to deliver the aircraft within a week,” said Shepherd Aero President Travis Holland. “These are anything but normal times; this week, we accomplished this 'normal' timeline. It was twice the effort on the inside, but to our clients, we performed as if there was no crisis."

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, it’s been challenging for pilots and aerospace companies to adapt to this unprecedented time. In fact, air traffic is down about 70 percent below seasonal average, according to the FAA, and general aviation operations were down nearly 50 percent in March.

Shepherd Aero’s new risk management tools have allowed the company to continue with business as usual, and the firm is currently working with the National Business Aviation Association, the FAA, and the International Civil Aviation Organization in getting the testing program standardized.

Amelia Walsh

Communications and Research Specialist
AOPA Communications and Research Specialist Amelia Walsh joined AOPA in 2017. Named after the famous aviatrix, she comes from a family of pilots and is currently working on her pilot certificate.
Topics: Financial

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