Air Transport World

Coopesa goes for the big game; employee-owned Costa Rican repair station will take advantage of liberal FAA rules to go after European, U.S. clients. (company profile)

Employee owned Costa Rican repair Station will take advantage of liberal FAA rules to go after European, U.S. client

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica-Two main characteristics make Coopesa a unique organization in Latin America: it is the largest independent-and probably the only one of its kind-airline-maintenance and repair shop in the region. And it is a cooperative society, owned and managed by its employees. Above that, another event is happening.

As Executive President Litleton Bolton emphasizes, "we are going through a fundamental change, aimed at reaching a more competitive condition and an aggressive approach to the international market. Up to then, we mainly focused upon the Latin American market but our strategic effort for the next 10 years contemplates U.S. and European clients as well. "

Being an FAA-certificated agency since 1965, Coopesa is betting that it will be able to attract an important share of U.S. maintenance business that currently goes to foreign repair stations as a consequence of liberal rules adopted by FAA some time ago.

Its main assets are its quality services-seen by Bolton as good as any other in the market-its competitive prices-an average of $25 an hour against $30 in the U.S. and $50 in Europe as of this writing, according to Jose Mora, Coopesa general director of the aviation division-and the privileged geographical location of San Jose, where the 35,000-sq.-m industrial facilities, including a 4,000-sq.-m hangar, are based. San Jose is 2 1/2 flying hours from Miami and New Orleans, 4 from Los Angeles.

The company developed long experience in airframe maintenance-up to D checks-for narrowbody air transports, mainly the Boeing 707, 720, 727, 737-100 and dash 200 series, as well as the BAC1-11 and more recently, the DC-9. It also provides interior refurbishing, modification and installation of avionics, on-site services such as engine and units replacement, structural and systems repairs, cargo conversion, component monitoring, electrochemical shutting and plasma processes for landing gear, washers, bearings and others.

Aviation is the first and the most important activity of Coopesa, producing some 60% of its revenues. …

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