Hüseyin Oflaz: I would like to thank you for this interview that is to be published in Aviation Turkey Magazine. I think your magazine has played an important role in communicating the importance of Turkish Civil Aviation around the world; within this context I really appreciate your efforts and I sincerely wish you success.
We celebrated our 10th anniversary last year, and from the very beginning we trusted our country, our people and our technical know-how. We struggled against difficulties in this way and we worked hard. Today myTECHNIC is an aircraft maintenance center authorized by civil aviation authorities of more than 40 countries from China to Europe, from Africa to Russia and in the Central Asia. Since our establishment, we have maintained nearly 1,200 aircraft and engines of nearly 150 different airlines from more than 50 countries. A passenger aircraft carries an average of z200,000 passengers per year, and maintenance of 1,200 aircraft corresponds to a total of 240 million passengers; hence we are fully aware of our responsibility.
Following the 12 years since our establishment, myTECHNIC has become a brand known worldwide in the sector. myTECHNIC has become a preferred maintenance center not only by our customers i.e. airlines, but also by employees. Today, the number of our employees has reached 700.
Hüseyin Oflaz: Our country is situated in the north of the equator and east of Greenwich. With this location, our country is at the important crossroads connecting the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. It is at the center of both developed and developing countries. Therefore, it is possible to see the world’s largest and dynamic aircraft fleets within a circle to be drawn considering the flight range of the aircraft that we serve and Turkey is located at the center of this circle. In short, due to our geographical position in the world, we have reached the level of an economic solution center for the airlines and it is inevitable that this level will continue to strengthen. This outcome as a result of strong will and continuous executive follow-up as a company should not be a surprise. Without doubt, in addition to our corporate efforts, our country’s significant investments in aviation through the construction of the new Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen’s 2nd runway should not be overlooked. Turkey and myTECHNIC have greatly made use of this critical opportunity both in the world and within the geography and we have become an effective player in the region in terms of aircraft maintenance.
Hüseyin Oflaz: Considering that the total aircraft maintenance market in the world (hull maintenance + engine maintenance + component maintenance) is about US$ 65 billion, it is clear there is a long way ahead. However, we can easily say that myTECHNIC has become one of the best known and powerful maintenance centers in the region with its investments in its workshops and new aircraft type authorizations in order to become a multi-solution center at one point.
Hüseyin Oflaz: In determining the principles of doing business, myTECHNIC is customer-centertric and behaves according to customer needs. Caring about the problems of our customers is our sine qua non.
In addition to our customer-driven approach, the features noted below are what make myTECHNIC distinctive amongst its competitors:
• multi-storey hangar building design and its advantages
• ability to perform hull maintenance for 12 medium and large hull aircraft at the same time
• being the largest independent aircraft maintenance center and the flexibility, it provides to its customers
• ability to paint for return aircraft
• having an engine workshop
• increases the number of workshops for other component maintenance except for the engine
• high quality and economic maintenance completed in a short time
• When we add the strategic position of our country to all of our corporate capabilities, being preferred becomes inevitable
Hüseyin Oflaz: FlyAnt Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Decision Support software was developed by myTECHNIC. The audits and practical business practices of myTECHNIC were integrated in it. Now we are improving our software with new technologies and making it more compact, more mobile and smarter. While our main goal here is to create a higher value for myTECHNIC, it is our greatest wish to create value elsewhere with such a product. In this context, we sold basic previous versions of FlyAnt in the past. In addition to myTECHNIC, it is used in line maintenance and planned maintenance applications. Of course, it is not sufficient and we have a very intense experience especially in the maintenance management part of aviation and we believe that our software can be positioned and used in addition to the aviation field. To this end, while developing our new software, we gather with all parties from inside and outside the sector and obtain their opinions, and we add ideas and demands that are applicable and will create added value. We are confident that the product will make a difference and be demanded.
Hüseyin Oflaz: Within the sector, myTECHNIC is known for its ability to develop solutions that meet its needs in itself. We are continuing our R&D activities as an R&D Center which was registered in October 2018. Our goal is to ensure that our customers receive value-added services from us at low costs while ensuring that the foreign exchange input that we produce remains within the country. We focus especially on artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, RFID solutions, ground support equipment and test systems. Aviation has always proceeded ahead of other sectors in terms of technology and continues to do so. We cooperate on adapting the knowhow and experience gained in aviation to other sectors, and incorporate best practices that we have learned from them to improve efficiency and quality.
Hüseyin Oflaz: One of the most important bottlenecks in the aviation sector is the lack of qualified aircraft maintenance technicians. This fact, from the past to the present, seems to be more effectual in the following years. Considering that the sector grows over 3% in the world every year and over 10% in our country, the big picture can be perceived more clearly.
Officials of an important European maintenance center recently came to Istanbul and opened an office and made great efforts to transfer technicians from the market. Even this single situation is sufficient to understand how common and vital this need is.
Even though myTECHNIC has been carrying out various activities to meet this need from time to time, it is for sure that the most important and permanent step we have taken so far was the structuring of myACADEMY. One of the important approaches behind this activity is to provide technical support and to investment in vocational technical high schools that train technicians. Firstly, it appears that the trainers’ completion of technical and practical training is a sine qua non. Carrying out the necessary activities to this end, revising the school education materials and documents, and renewing the workshops where the students do practical work in order to meet the current needs appropriate to the purpose will provide important gains to the sector. In addition, the students’ doing their summer and winter internships in the hangar or company workshops and working together with professional technicians who have a mission to prepare such students for the profession will provide important experiences for their future professional lives. Support given to successful students by aircraft maintenance companies during their education period through the scholarship constitutes the technical, social and psychological dimension of the subject.
With a 5-year protocol signed between myTECHNIC and the Ministry of National Education, myTECHNIC has started to provide the necessary theoretical and practical training to 13 teachers of public high schools that have aircraft maintenance areas in our country. The 104-hour basic training course was given to 72 aircraft maintenance area teachers at the facilities of the Cappadocia University in June and July 2019. The activities are ongoing to this end.
Furthermore, the activities that contribute to education, provide internships and scholarships to the students of Sabiha Gökçen Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School, which is appointed as a pilot school by the Ministry, will continue during this 5-year period.
Our other field of activity is the cooperation we started with the Cappadocia University. We plan to provide trainer support and invest in training sets, apparatus, materials and consumables in the workshops of Cappadocia University, which also train aircraft maintenance technicians in the B1 and B2 categories. Students will participate in the activities in our company hangar for their practical studies within the scope of regulations. Related activities are ongoing with the university in full consensus. At the beginning of 2020, workshops are planned to be opened with new equipment.
As I mentioned before, the most important aspect of this effort is the fact that students will have the opportunity to train within the sector become qualified and highly competent technicians. Expansion of similar efforts which we have initiated as a company seems to be the most truthful and reliable method for overcoming the bottleneck encountered in the sector.
Hüseyin Oflaz: The investment made by HNA Group in our country is currently only myTECHNIC.
Hüseyin Oflaz: We appreciate and support Aviation Turkey magazine. I expect the same from the readers of the magazine