You have been with REBTECH since 2001 and President since 2007, what makes REBTECH special for you?
My father started the business in 1996; he had spent several years prior to that with a small company that converted instrument gauges, flood lights and edge-lit panels to night vision imaging systems (NVIS) lighting. Of course, back then all NVIS lighting was to Mil-Spec 85762-A and was either Green A or Green B. He went to a local bank and convinced them that night vision goggles (NVG) lighting was going to be a requirement in the aviation field and that he had the experience both with instruments and lighting to make his company successful. He had an engineer who moonlighted for him in the evenings and on weekends, and REBTECH was born. I joined 5 years later in a sales and marketing role. This was just at the beginning when law enforcement and emergency medical services (EMS) companies were looking to acquire NVGs and compatible cockpit lighting. We were the first company to have an NVIS white aircraft supplemental type certificate (STC), and NVIS white is now the standard for all crew station modifications. REBTECH is special to me because it is an innovative tight-knit family-run business; the engineer who helped my dad out at the beginning is still working here, along with several employees who have been at REBTECH since the early 2000s.
REBTECH has over 35 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) STCs and approvals from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Transport Canada to install NVIS on a wide range of craft, what makes your technology the choice for operators who are considering commencing night operations?
I think that a big reason for why operators choose our lighting modifications is the simplicity of most of the installations, and the fact that we supply the documentation that allows them to repair the unit without sending it back to our Part 145 station. The majority of our non-military customers cannot afford to be down an aircraft just because an instrument is inoperable. If it’s a lighting failure, we have door-to-door lamps, filters and LEDs sent to them on the same day, so either their technicians can repair the unit or a local Part 145 shop can, saving the customer both time and money. REBTECH customer service is second to none, and we have been told that because of our quick responses to our customers’ needs, they will continue to use REBTECH for all their aircraft modifications.
REBTECH has a long history with the military night vision industry, and has also focused on providing swift and agile solutions to the civilian market as well. How is this efficiency achieved?
REBTECH’s relationship with the program offices and aircrews was a major contributor to our early success in the paramilitary world. We’ve continued with that philosophy in the civilian world. Understanding the needs of the aircrew is not only effective program management but also benefits the commercial and contract office by cost savings!
REBTECH’s success has led to expansion and creation of a new company, REBTECH Engineering Management Solutions – REMS. How is REMS distinct from REBTECH and what services does it offer?
REMS was developed out of an industry need that we encountered through our REBTECH programs. Some of our customers were making several different changes and modifications to the aircraft that we were doing the NVIS lighting on. They were having to work with three to six other vendors in order to get everything done on schedule and on budget. REMS is basically an engineering program management company that handles the logistical process of tasks to be performed by several vendors on a particular platform. REMS also works on obsolescence management as well as spares provisioning and supply. They are only being marketed to customers outside the USA. We have gathered a close group of companies that we have worked with in the past who all specialize in different aspects of aircraft modification. We have avionics/instruments, exterior aircraft lighting, engine overhaul, spare parts, paint and heavy machine work companies in our group. Our first contract is with a customer in Africa where we are doing an avionics upgrade to 15 of their aircraft. We acquire the equipment, install the equipment, get the STC and turn the aircraft over to them. REMS is currently working with eight different suppliers, and it manages the time schedule: our customer only deals with REMS. To them that is a huge task taken off their plate.
Are REBTECH and REMS working on any more STCs and what can we expect from them in the future?
Currently REBTECH/REMS have several projects that involve new STCs. We are familiarizing our FAA STCs for the Airbus H135 and H145 into EASA STCs. We are also getting a new STC with the Brazilian regulator Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) for the Airbus AS365 and familiarizing our FAA STC for the H135 with ANAC. REMS is producing an FAA STC for an avionics upgrade for the Britten-Norman BN-2T. We are continually working with companies who we would like to add to our list of capabilities. I believe REBTECH will establish several new NVIS lighting STCs in Europe, South America and the Pacific region over the next year to year and a half. REMS has gotten off to a good start and I hope that the current customers of each division will do what most of our previous customers have done and come back to us for any new projects.
REBTECH are exhibiting at EUROPEAN ROTORS on 28–30 November in Madrid. If people want to get in touch, where can they find you?
This will be our third year at EUROPEAN ROTORS. With both REBTECH and REMS having a focus on the European market, it just makes sense that we start trying to establish ourselves in the territory by exhibiting at these industry shows. We have been very pleased with our two prior shows in Germany and feel the show in Spain will be just as good. This year we are located at Booth 615.