Growth, loss, and new opportunities marked 2023 for Simpson Aerospace Services (SAS) and as the year ends, we feel profound gratitude to our staff, our suppliers, and our customers. You made it happen. We opened the year in San Francisco and before it ended had crisscrossed this country with installs, relocations, and refits. Along the way, we met scores of new faces and deepened our relationship with those we already knew. Our work involves pieces of metal, but our business is really helping people solve problems and meet new challenges.
Moving a nose dock and wing stand set for United Airlines (San Francisco to Houston} is no small order. It involves detailed disassembling and labeling, packing, and shipping and unpacking thousands of parts to assure they arrive, then putting them all together again in a new home. Our crew was more than up to the task, getting the work done accurately and ahead of schedule. On top of that, SAS installed Wi-Fi stands for Delta at LAX and DFW, just a hint of things to come.
We’re back in Atlanta to deliver and install dual wide body Wi-Fi stands for Delta Airlines. Our innovative Wi-Fi stand might be product of the year for SAS. Ground operations crews certainly feel good about the safety and utility it offers. Marcus Kembel’s design provides for a self-functioning stand that eliminates the need for other equipment like cranes and bucket lifts and tethering. Ground crew members smile when they’re on it. We close the month with a Wi-Fi installation at JFK.
Growth in business and new opportunities on the horizon have us “noodling” both more space and more staff. Plans are moving forward on a 12,000 ft addition to our production facility.
Four general access stands are delivered to PSA Airlines, an American subsidiary that operates an all-jet American Eagle fleet. While we do build stands for the largest aircraft, we also serve the regional carriers, and are glad to do so.
It was a month for gains and a terrible loss. In early May we welcomed Design Engineer Gary Adkins to SAS, glad to add his experience in troubleshooting and finding solutions. Then, we suffered a deep loss when crew member and skilled welder Gary Graf passed away in a motorcycle accident on May 25. We miss Gary to this day and will always remember his contributions and good spirit.
We’re back in San Francisco disassembling and moving a United narrow body tail-dock which is being purchased by another airline. SAS will manage the move and relocation – on time
SAS celebrated the 4th of July completing a narrow body Wi-Fi in Pittsburg then moved on to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, which beckoned us for a 7017 Wide Body Wi-Fi stand. We chomped into a Philly or two and were off again to Chicago for another Wi-Fi installation.
Stops in Los Angeles, and Miami for Wi-Fi installations. Plus, construction is underway on the shop expansion. Let’s just say it was a busy month. Our team is gathering experience and Randy Ball has stepped up to be a great leader on these installs. We can’t say enough about Amber, Gary Adkins and all the crew back at home who keep things moving while we’re away.
SAS stepped out in Las Vegas where we participated in our first major aircraft industry trade show, the GSE Expo. We confess to being “oddballs”. While most have their eyes on the new Sphere or the casinos, we’re talking lift capacity, towing, and minimal footprint. Thanks Antonello Davi of American Airlines for dropping by our booth and giving us a good word. Not to forget, we also placed a widebody WI-Fi stand in Minneapolis.
The shop expansion is well under roof, and we receive our Mazak tube laser which adds to our metal cutting and shaping capabilities. Laser cutting has revolutionized tube and structural processing, and SAS now offer those services.
There’s always transition in this business, so moving into our new space and taking on new projects, like stands for our military partner become the order of the day. Being a smaller and growing company, SAS must keep open to new opportunities, even when they’re a bit unknown and challenging. But that keeps us fresh and on our toes.
Goodness, where did it go? Just 12 months ago, we were scrambling through the Detroit airport trying to beat a blizzard home for Christmas. Now we’re past Christmas again and grinding hard to complete a Wi-Fi order for Feb. delivery (the fastest we’ve ever done) because that’s what our client needs.
SAS has experienced a record year, and we owe thanks to our staff members for their commitment and to our customers for their trust in us. The projects and people mentioned here are but a snapshot of activity we saw in ’23. We look forward to seeing a lot more in 2024. Happy New Year.