Home' Australian Aviation Magazine : November 2009 Contents 28
NOVEMBER 2009 AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
Qantas isn't always associated
with defence and third party
support work. But the airline has
a division which is dedicated to
Qantas Defence Ser vices recently moved
from under Qantas Engineering into the
new Qantas Aviation Services (QAS) divi-
sion headed by Glenn Brown who joined
the company in late 2007.
"I report into Lyell Strambi (execu-
tive general manager operations) who is
basically the COO for the airline," Brown
said in a recent inter view. "We tend to
look at our group as very much something
different from QF Engineering which we
were previously a part of." Indeed, the QDS
portfolio is a diverse one and, although still
very much an engineering expertise based
organisation, many of its responsibilities
and plans go far beyond that.
Glenn Brown was recruited into Qantas
from his position as president of US based
Stevens Aviation, a large MRO operation
which had a roughly 50:50 market division
of business and military customers. e
military work included the depot heavy
maintenance and rebuilds of the US Army's
large fleet of C-12s (King Air derivatives).
Brown has a financial background, having
previously been group financial controller
for Lucas Aerospace before stepping across
into customer ser vice as VP customer
ser vice for Lucas, and then as VP of Rolls-
Royce's small engine group ser ving large
corporate and regional airline customers.
Perhaps the best known contract held
by QDS is the support of the RAAF's
fleet of C-130 Hercules transports, al-
though all work on the C-130J models it
has done up to now will shortly transfer
over to Australian Aerospace and Lock-
heed Martin. "Our biggest program by
far is the C-130 program," said Brown.
"Our view is the C-130H is a great plat-
form and a good asset which could keep
flying for a number of years. It's much
easier, particularly in the current budget-
ary environment, to extend old aircraft
life than it is to go down to Canberra and
get money for new platforms."
Another QDS long term support con-
tract is looking after the RAAF's VIP fleet
run by 34SQN at Canberra. "We currently
do the two BBJs -- that's a terrific program
for us," said Brown. "We provide all the
heavy and line maintenance, logistics man-
agement and program management for the
VIP fleet and we've been on that program
for a number of years now, and it includes
the Challengers as well."
Brown added that, while Qantas does
all the heavy maintenance on the 737-
700 based BBJs at its 737 maintenance
facility in Melbourne, the heavy mainte-
nance work on the three Challenger 604s
is sub-contracted out as Qantas is not set
up nor licenced to do heavy maintenance
on these aircraft.
"We look at the BBJ as the per-
fect launch platform to extend and do
maintenance on other Boeing derivatives
as well, and we believe there are huge
economies of scale in doing that and try-
ing to put it together."
Another large program QDS is heav-
ily involved in is the RAAF's A330 to
KC-30A MRTT tanker conversion
program at Brisbane Airport. " at's a
huge and multi-faceted program for us,"
Brown explained. " e first facet is the
massive conversion of four of the 'green'
A330 aircraft on a subcontract from Air-
bus in Spain. e complexity is that it is a
significant conversion in that the aircraft
will operate as a tanker, a receiver and a
troop transport -- they really are getting an
amazing capability with this aircraft."
e original conversion contract was
with Qantas Engineering, but as it was
a defence project and QDS is to provide
the through life support (TLS) for these
aircraft once in ser vice, it was transferred to
QDS control in late 2008.
"So we've made that transition and have
developed what I think is an extraordinary
capability to do commercial to military con-
version work, and we think that capability
has a tremendous future ahead of it because
nobody in Asia does this kind of work. After
the delays with aircraft two, I feel good
about our ability to do aircraft three through
five without a 'net', and we're looking for
follow-on work beyond the fifth aircraft for
the RAAF. Today we have production ready
data and a production ready workforce, and
it looks like a production program."
Aircraft number two is now ready to
fly and work has already commenced on
Qantas's defence arm looks for new opportunities
by Andrew McLaughlin
photo -- Airbus Military
Links Archive October 2009 December 09 Navigation Previous Page Next Page