CAMBER AVIATION MANAGEMENT
The Corporate Jet Experts
Our industry experience has shaped our commitment and defined our core purpose to provide our valued clients with unsurpassed professional services.
We enjoy and pride ourselves in the work that we do and the people
we are fortunate enough to work with. Camber Aviation Management
is founded on traditional business values of:
KNOWLEDGE EXPERIENCE INNOVATION TRUST
We seek to understand our client’s needs and consistently surpass their expectations. Our highly experienced team is dedicated to investing their knowledge, expertise and craftsmanship to seamlessly transform concepts into form and function.
Leading the industry by revolutionizing latest innovation in contemporary design, our practical solutions and technical know-how have garnered us the trust of our clients, suppliers and manufacturers.
THE CAMBER ADVANTAGE
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
At Camber Aviation Management we pride ourselves in delivering strategic advisory services and unique custom designed, world-class corporate and private aircraft. With clients across the world we bring an international perspective to every project and a deep understanding of local influences, expectations and requirements. So what makes unique?
We seek to understand our client’s needs and then surpass their
expectations. Our team is dedicated to investing its knowledge
and experience in obtaining the best possible results. We are
characterised by our innovations, our practical solutions and the
trust we have earned with our clients, suppliers and manufacturers.
EASE OF OWNERSHIP
We don’t just deliver, we surpass expectations. As a group of passionate experts we want you to receive outstanding value and understand what
it takes to produce award-winning results:
· Assure utmost confidentiality and trusted rapport
· Remain at the cutting edge of concept design and build
· Deliver exceptional quality on time and budget
· Project manage effectively and efficiently
· Resolve challenges of complex projects
· Partner in complex acquisitions
· Communicate regularly and succinctly
· Build and maintain strong global relationships
For more than three decades we have challenged the possibilities
of complex and innovative design and engineering to transform
our client’s vision for unsurpassed comfort and functionality.
Our bespoke end-to-end aircraft ownership solutions include:
· Selection, negotiation and acquisition of your aircraft
· State-of-the-art cabin design and specification
· Selection and negotiation of cabin outfitter
· Programme management including financial oversight
· Technical oversight from design through cabin build and certification
· Proprietary analytical management technologies
Everyone in our team is highly responsive, dedicated to long-term relationships and client satisfaction. We are nimble, accessible and flexible committed to delivering outstanding quality with personalized service for your evolving aviation needs.
Let’s start the conversation.
Our projects speak volumes of our team’s experience and capabilities.
A summary of projects completed or well underway include:
Amongst its achievements, the team has most recently completed and delivered the world’s first Boeing 787 VVIP aircraft.
6 A330 / A340 wide-body
11 A320 series narrow-body
7 B747 / B787 wide-body
1 BBJ1 narrow-body
"Together, we have completed or have underway 44 projects including
14 wide-bodies, 12 narrow bodies and 18 business jets ranging from new-build to full cabin refurbishments."
1 Gulfstream G650 ER
A desire to provide tailored consulting solutions for corporate jets, encouraged Stephen Vella together with partner
Tom Chatfield to launch Camber Aviation Management.
Our business model is quite simple: to provide the best advisory services possible to High Net Worth Individuals,
Corporations and Heads of State seeking to acquire and customise large corporate jets.
The Camber Aviation Management Team together has over 135 years of hands-on experience with private owners, corporate jet operators, airlines, manufacturers, cabin outfitters and regulatory authorities. We have successfully managed 44 corporate aircraft projects to date ranging the Bombardier Global 7000 and Gulfstream 650ER business jets, to Airbus and Boeing airliner conversions, including 14 wide-body and 12 narrow-body programmes.
Fascinated since childhood in aircraft, Stephen Vella followed his passion. With over 35 years in aviation, Stephen has established a formidable reputation for professionalism, integrity and customer service and his contacts reach the highest levels of the airline,
aircraft manufacturing and completion industries.
After receiving his Aeronautical Engineering degree at the University London, Stephen earned his Master of Science Degree in Air Transport Engineering at Cranfield Institute of Technology before joining British Caledonian Airways’ Corporate (BCAL) Planning Division in 1976. Four years later, he transitioned to BCAL’s aircraft asset management group and in 1985 was promoted to General Manager of BCAL Aircraft Trading.
June 1987 saw Mr. Vella became one of the founding General Managers of the newly formed Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services (AWAS), responsible for Europe, Africa and South America.
The following year, Stephen was Managing Director and majority shareholder of Aircraft Leasing and Management Ltd (ALM). London-based ALM satisfied the aircraft asset management, financing and aviation consultancy needs of respected airlines, lessors, investors and financial institutions. By late 2002, ALM had developed a managed aircraft portfolio with a value exceeding US$1 billion and earned ALM the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement.
Mr. Vella subsequently formed Prime Aviation in 2002 and Kestrel Aviation Management in 2009 engaging in activities ranging from commercial and corporate aircraft purchasing, sales, financing/remarketing to fleet planning and airline business consulting.
Stephen is a UK citizen, born in Gibraltar, and is bilingual English-Spanish and fluent in French.
Tom Chatfield has 35+ years’ experience working with highly respected companies in the aviation industry. A trained avionics technician holding Transport Canada and EASA Aircraft Maintenance Engineer licences, with a MSc in Airline Transport Management from Cranfield University, Mr. Chatfield is characterised by his professionalism, technical insight and solutions-oriented approach.
In high school, Tom worked at a flying school to pay for his flying lessons. After gaining his pilot’s licence, he attended Canadore College before starting work at de Havilland Canada in 1986. Starting as a production flight test technician, he was fast-tracked into avionics engineering, later becoming de Havilland’s youngest international field service representative.
Tom joined Lufthansa’s partner, Contact Air, in 1992 to lead the Avionics Department and, later, manage the Engineering and Maintenance Planning Teams. Recruited as Maintenance Manager in 2000 for DaimlerChrysler’s new 12 aircraft corporate jet division, he led the team to achieve 100% dispatch reliability of its A319CJ during the first 2 years of daily trans-Atlantic operations. In 2004, Santos Dumont Aircraft Management, a boutique leasing consultancy, hired Tom as VP Technical to develop processes and train specialists to support an impressive list of client airlines and leasing companies.
Qatar Airways’ offered an opportunity in 2009 to join the senior management team of its new business jet operation. Mr. Chatfield managed Qatar Executive’s technical operations, defining new aircraft specifications and leading the team to receive Part 145, CAMO and Bombardier Service Center approvals.
Tom is a Canadian citizen, bilingual in English and German with considerable international experience.
Stephan Theis is a very knowledgeable Technical Manager with Camber Aviation Management, a company focused on providing strategic advisory services and unique custom designed, world-class corporate and private aircraft. Responsible for ensuring that client expectations are exceeded, from the quality of the cabin to external livery and the complete document package.
His most recent projects include performing cabin completion and modification programme oversight of the world’s first BBJ787 VVIP aircraft, heavy maintenance management of a VIP Boeing 767 corporate jet and preparation of two Challengers for government operation. Results oriented with a very strong background in modification programmes and technical documentation.
A highly knowledgeable professional with an eye for detail, Stephan has worked for highly respected European corporate jet operators and maintenance organisations, gaining a reputation for consistent high-standard work as both an EASA Licenced B1 Certifying Technician and Inspector. Extensive international experience with cultural sensitivity. Fluent in English and German.
A highly capable professional specialising in technical inspection, assessment and oversight of large VVIP Corporate Aircraft completions. Extensive experience on Airbus ACJ, Boeing BBJ and Bombardier Global families of aircraft.
Most recent projects include Boeing 787BBJ green aircraft acceptance, cabin completion oversight and completed aircraft delivery; technical acceptance of Airbus ACJ319 and major refurbishment of a Bombardier Global XRS. Equally adept at green aircraft inspections, cabin completion oversight, aircraft acceptances and heavy maintenance supervision, including structural repairs. Critical member of team ensuring cabin fit, finish and operation meet or exceed VVIP quality standards.
Experienced on both Airbus and Boeing wide-body VVIP Corporate aircraft, Hamid holds EASA B1 and C licences with numerous endorsements. Fluent in English and German. Extensive international experience with cultural sensitivity.
The principals of Camber Aviation Management have been associated
with the design and build of many of the world’s most innovative and impressive large corporate jets. Together, we have been responsible
for over fifty corporate jet comple-tions, working closely with owners
to ensure that each aircraft meets their exacting requirements, while ensuring an effortless design, build and entry into service process experience, unparalleled in the industry.
Camber Aviation Management has long, established relation-ships with the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, designers, engineering teams, completion centres, suppliers and artisans. Experts in advising owners
on exceptional interior layouts, optimal cabin systems, the best possible choice of aircraft, materials, financing and contracts. From start to
entry into service, our Team manages all aspects of the project,
working alongside all parties, to ensure that the finished aircraft fits perfectly with the expectations of the owner.
Our experience includes aircraft acquisition and completion management of Bombardier Challenger and Global, Gulfstream 650 through to Airbus ACJ319 to VIP 340-500, and Boeing BBJ1 through 787BBJ to 747-8 aircraft.
From concept to completion, rest assured that Camber Aviation Management will examine and address every little detail to fulfill your utmost expectations.
1. NEW BUILD JET MANAGEMENT
Building a customised corporate jet is a long-term project and
a major investment. The decision to purchase a large Corporate, Private or Head of State aircraft is only the first step in a complex
a complex process culminating in the delivery of an aircraft worthy of transporting VVIP passengers.
It is essential that the right team is selected for your specific needs.
Camber Aviation Management provides guidance, advice and project management throughout all stages of the project from establishing owner requirements; aircraft selection, negotiation and acquisition; through cabin design, material selections and engineering; to cabin build, testing and certification. We begin by seeking to understand our client’s needs and expectations, while explaining the financial, technical and contractual aspects of acquiring, converting and operating a large corporate jet.
Key areas of competence in the development of a new-aircraft conversion:
Camber Aviation Management’s breadth of experience in the negotiation and acquisition of aircraft, combined with the Team’s first-hand experience managing conversions at each of the top completion centres worldwide, means informed decisions can be made regarding aircraft selection, design house and completion centre bidding and selection.
The Essential Link
Camber is the link between the owner and the aircraft manufacturer, completion centre, design and engineering teams, suppliers and regulatory authorities, ensuring that the owner’s requirements and expectations are met and, when challenges arise, to find solutions that reflect the owner’s interests are protected.
The Team’s experience managing aircraft conversions combined with each member’s first-hand experience operating and maintaining corporate jets, can be incorporated into the initial design concepts and development of the project.
First-hand experience is applied to cabin layout and systems selections to guide the development of the specification to create a beautiful, intuitive and functional cabin, reflecting
the owner’s expectations.
2. THE INITIAL STAGES
Buying a large corporate jet is rarely an impulsive decision. A prospective corporate owner has almost certainly experienced business jet travel – as a guest, charterer or, possibly, as an owner. It is very likely that you already have a concept of your ideal corporate jet or, at the very least,
of the desired features.
Now you need experts to guide you on how to best turn your concept
Discussing your ideas and requirements with the Camber team over
a number of meetings, will help refine the type of aircraft and cabin configuration that you are seeking. Understanding the number of
passengers to be carried and typical trips helps to shortlist potential aircraft types, but equally important, passenger comfort expectations including communication and entertainment systems, culinary
capabilities and rest features.
Notably, at this stage, project budget, timeline and contractual requirements, including expected country of registry, will be discussed and defined.
From these discussions, Camber will develop a concept design tender package for bidding by shortlisted designers. The selected designer
will work closely with Camber to develop the design package including cabin layout and renderings, which will be refined through interactive discussions with the owner until the design is finalised.
3. CHOOSING AN AIRCRAFT
With a full understanding of the owner’s requirements and a crystallised cabin design concept in place, Camber will begin negotiations with the manufacturer of the shortlist aircraft type(s). Here the owner will benefit tremendously from Camber’s principals’ vast experience in negotiating purchase agreements for over US$5 billion in commercial and corporate aircraft, on behalf of respected airlines, private individuals and Heads of State, during the past 30 years.
Our negotiations will result in the optimum candidate aircraft for the conversion, based on owner preference, options, schedule and pricing. Camber’s innovative approach will ensure the owner receives the
optimum pricing with the best possible terms.
The Camber Team will work closely with the owner’s legal team to finalise the comprehensive purchase agreement reflecting all of the technical, financial, warranty, delivery terms and conditions, as well as legal aspects of the acquisition.
4. SELECTING A COMPLETION CENTRE
A detailed Cabin Specification document is drafted by Camber to reflect the cabin layout, systems, features, materials and finishes integrated
into the selected aircraft. The Cabin Specification together with the
cabin weight target, expected com-pletion timeline and budget will
be developed and presented to the owner for review and approval.
The approved Cabin Specification will be released together with the Request for Proposal to shortlisted completion centres for bidding.
These qualified centres are shortlisted through an assessment to
determine their ability to meet the design requirements, integration workscope, delivery schedule, budget and owner expectations. Of course, completion centre financial stability, programme management capabilities and quality reputation will be closely examined through site visit.
Completion centre proposals are analysed with recommendations presen-ted to the owner for consideration and selection. The Camber team will then assist the owner’s legal counsel in finalising the Completion Agreement, obtaining the best conditions, pricing, recourse and payment schedule for the complete conversion process. Projects schedule, including aircraft induction and delivery dates, mile-stones, progress payment triggers and delay penalties will be intrinsic to the negotiated Completion Agreement.
5. BUILDING YOUR JET
The complex challenge of transforming a “green” production aircraft into a bespoke corporate jet that meets the owner’s operational requirements and cabin experience expectations can only be met by an exceptional completion management team.
During manufacture of the “green” aircraft, which is the term used to describe a candidate aircraft without a cabin or paint, specialists from Camber visit the manufacturer to ensure the aircraft is built correctly and in compliance with the specification. The aircraft is inspected throughout the assembly process including the manufacturer’s quality logbook, observing ground testing and participating in acceptance flight testing. Any quality or performance shortfalls are documented and communicated to the manufacturer for correction prior to green aircraft acceptance. Once all issues have been resolved, Camber assists the owner throughout aircraft delivery to ensure a smooth process.
While the aircraft is being manufactured, Camber staff work closely with the completion centre overseeing the engineering of the conversion, reviewing detailed drawings, specification compliance, material selections and performing supplier reviews to ensure the completion centre is fully prepared for the arrival of the green aircraft.
Following delivery, the aircraft is ferried to the completion centre. Camber staff are on-site throughout the conversion, performing critical inspections, confirming components and monuments meet specification and finish quality, protecting owner interests and ensuring that all issues are resolved in accordance with contractual requirements. The Team ensures critical service bulletins and modifications, released by the aircraft, engine and component manufacturers are sequenced into the completion process. We also negotiate any required change orders on
the owner’s behalf and ensure that any contractual issues that arise during build are resolved.
Throughout the completion, the owner is kept regularly updated on the project schedule, milestones and any significant issues. The on-site team confirms that agreed prerequisites are met before completion centre progress payment invoices are released to the owner.
6. TESTING, CERTIFICATION, DELIVERY
The most exacting phase of the project begins with the installation of the cabin. This is the busiest part of the completion process, with multiple teams working to complete their tasks to enable the start of ground testing, which is performed to ensure all cabin systems function correctly and that green aircraft systems are not affected by the cabin conversion.
The regulatory authority will send inspectors to observe functional testing, review final drawing changes and participate in certification
flight testing. Issuance of the cabin certification is only achieved when documents have been found to be complete and all tests proven as successful.
Once certified, the Camber team performs its contractual technical acceptance programme including final physical inspections, ground functional tests and flight testing of the aircraft. The completion
centre is advised of all findings, however small, for correction prior to technical acceptance. Our team will be on-site to ensure that outfitter obligations are fulfilled without exception.
Camber will then follow up with any post-delivery issues with the completion centre and provide essential support for any warranty issues.
An aircraft may require refurbishment to refresh the cabin and
upgrade systems that are outdated, most commonly cabin voice
and data communication and entertainments systems.
Refurbishments range from simple replacement of soft goods to
the replacement of the cabin furniture and systems. In many ways,
a refurbishment can be as complex as a new aircraft completion, especially when the downtime is optimised by including a major scheduled maintenance event together with the incorporation of
large modification and upgrade packages.
An experienced completion management team understands
the processes and will develop a workscope and programme to understand the owner’s requirements, develop the design concept
and then follow through with the selection of a designer and
completion centre to refine and engineer the cabin. Camber has successfully refurbished numerous corporate jets and, by using
our vast experience, has optimised each project to ensure a smooth
and efficient process.
As each refurbishment project is unique, we can tailor our involvement
to your needs and requirements, including:
· Pre-planning and assessment of work package
· Appraisal and recommendation of candidate completion
· Cabin layout and specification development guidance
· Technical advice and oversight during refurbishment
· Full attendance project management
· Cost and quality control functions
The principals of Camber Aviation Management, Stephen Vella and Tom Chatfield, worked closely together in their previous roles as CEO of Kestrel Aviation Management and Managing Director of Stratus Aviation Services, to deliver the world’s first Boeing 787BBJ with
a VVIP cabin. This aircraft was seen by a privileged few, when the aircraft was unveiled in Geneva at EBACE 2016.
Their efforts and that of their teams, resulted in an aircraft that has been described in Robb Report’s 40th Anniversary issue as “a Boeing 787-8 (is) transformed into an apartment that can fly.”
Below are articles released shortly after the aircraft’s unveiling at EBACE, describing the aircraft and the complex process from aircraft purchase, design and integration to delivery and entry into service.
The Camber Team, using its hard-earned credentials from this 787BBJ are confident that their next projects will earn similar accolades from the professional media.
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Seven of this Year's Nominees for the Best Aircraft-Cabin Innovations