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.
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.
“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.