While Fergus Lopez is Canadian, he was born in Malaysia. So, as Managing Director – Asia Pacific at APS, his new role has, he tells AeroTime, brought him “full circle”.
Fergus has held a number of roles in the aviation industry, most recently as CEO of Diethelm Keller Aviation. Prior to that he was General Manager – Asia Operations at GKN Aerospace, which was preceded by ten years at Parker Aerospace in the Asia Pacific region.
Now four months into his position at APS, his wealth of experience stands him in good stead for the company’s ambitious plans in Asia. Already known as a global innovator in propeller system maintenance services, APS isn’t resting on its laurels. Seven decades ago, it was founded with five employees. This year marks its 70th anniversary and cements its standing as the premier shop servicing regional turboprop aircraft. APS enjoys a key partnership and licensee with Collins Aerospace, the leading propeller OEM.
APS has a state-of-the-art 46,000 square foot facility in Lake Zurich, IL, less than 30 miles from Chicago-O’Hare international airport. In addition, seven of the 10 largest ATR operators are aligned with the company. It opened a facility in Brazil in 2016 and has recently been working on its presence in Asia. As APS’s CEO, Dan Colbert, told AeroTime in April, “we know the importance of being in Asia. In fact, for some time now, APS employed full-time sales and customer support resources located in Singapore”.
Now that Fergus has joined the leadership team, APS’s presence in Asia is set to expand quickly and significantly. He will be spearheading the company’s activities in the region, focusing on strategic growth, operational excellence, and customer satisfaction. The core Asia Pacific leadership team is already on board and in the months ahead, Fergus and his team will be recruiting staff and accelerating the establishment of this new facility.
Fergus says the appeal of the role included the company’s growth vision, and its focus on customer service. He is excited about the prospect of building on processes that will addresses APS’s valued customers’ current and future needs with service offerings in region. Full overhaul services are a much-needed capability for the Asia Pacific region. The new facility is planned to be up and running in Q4 2024.
Fergus says: “We’ve built up a solid customer base in the region and this strategic move will not only bring current services closer to them but create a platform for APS to add new capabilities and services.
He adds: “And APS is not looking to stop at propellers. We will build on our current process capabilities and expand outside of propellers which will include composite and component repairs.”
Not surprisingly, Fergus is very optimistic about the growth potential of the Asian market for APS.
“The strategic intent is strong for two reasons. First, we’ve got a good market share and our customers will be closer to us in similar time zones with no need to go back to the US for support.
“The second reason is that the Asia Pacific market is growing at a rate that far exceeds anywhere else in the world. There’s a huge demand for air travel, and that’s not just the larger transporters. It’s also the smaller, regional airplanes and our current capabilities certainly fit into that growth. The forecast for that demand is going to be there for years to come.”
Fergus also believes that APS’s proposition of an OEM licensed shop in the region, its quality assurance, and adherence to high OEM standards means that customers will want to work with them. “Coupled with APS’s great customer service, customers know they will get a product or service that is absolutely right.”
It’s clear that Fergus is looking forward to the growth in the Asia Pacific region and APS being part of that growth.