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Navigating Your Way Through An Interior Completion

August 2010

1. Set clear priorities and goals.

An interior completion is not a simple task. Before you even get bids on a project, the owner and operator of the aircraft need to agree on what their priorities and goals are for the project. Once you have this clearly defined you will be equipped better to evaluate the proposals you receive.

2. Watch for generalized information and ask for specific details.

Whether your hot points are price, quality, downtime or a variety of other possible criteria, each proposal will have what we call “blind spots” that you need to investigate. Blind spots are details that aren’t specifically outlined in the proposal. These are items you may assume are going to be done (or done a certain way), when in fact they may not be included or not done in a satisfactory manner.

This could be as simple as what is being done with the interior of the cabinets when you have new veneer applied. Are they just going to be cleaned? Or will the interior of the cabinet be painted a new color? These are details that should be defined early on in the process.

3. Know the lingo.

If you are not familiar with aircraft interior projects, you will find your conversations riddled with terminology like dato panels, dynamic certification, lower and upper sidewall panels, vertical burn certification and acronyms like HIC or MED… not to mention the plethora of FARs that provide guidance to all the qualified completion centers. This process does get simpler as you become more experienced, but the devil is in the details. Being able to speak the “lingo” is critical.

4. Ask what methods will be used.

All completion centers operate under the same set of regulations from the FAA. However, there are many details that will dictate the overall success of the project when your wheels go up and you’re headed home. It is very important to fully understand the various methods being used to complete each aspect of your interior.