AMS+ Case Study - Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
Taking over the operations of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in Puerto Rico presented many challenges for Aerostar Airport Holdings. Determined to ensure continuous growth at the airport, the private operator assumed responsibility of day to day operations, as well as all current and future projects, including an upgrade of airfield infrastructure.
Aerostar had to undertake significant work on the airfield, including the extension of runway 8-26, repaving taxiways, upgrading the navigational aids and more. After substantial investments in improvement projects, they had to ensure that they put in place a proper maintenance program that protected their most valuable assets. To supplement the airport’s in-house program, Aerostar partnered with Hi-Lite, and developed a collaborative relationship to uphold safety and compliance on the airfield.
After SJU was privatized, Hi-Lite’s initial role was to assist the airport to prepare for the first Part 139 inspection under Aerostar’s management. Erick Gracia Galiano, Safety Responsible for Aerostar tells the story of how this partnership came to happen, “as a professional in the aviation field, I had seen Hi-Lite’s work and requested a quote looking for ways to solve all the issues on the forefront. The result of that request has been one of the best strategic partnerships we’ve ever had resulting with no discrepancies in annual inspections”
Hi-Lite later landed a multi-year maintenance contract that included weekly friction testing, rubber removal, FOD sweeping and maintenance of airfield markings. The objective of the program was proactive maintenance. Ever since then, it has been Hi-Lite’s mission to continuously clean, paint, and take on what needs to be done to keep markings fully compliant and be prepared to pass the Part 139 inspection at any time.
Aerostar’s President, Agustín Arellano understands well the importance of having a mutual benefit partnership with whom the maintenance responsibility can be shared, and that can show improvement in the airfield’s safety from day one: “We have been improving every year. We had all of the inspections and certifications without major findings and we are very proud of it. We are very proud with the relationship with Hi-Lite and that we have a safer operation around the airport because of the joint effort.” The partnership with Aerostar is one of Hi-Lite’s first long-term maintenance contracts which has paved the way for a completely new line of business in the industry.
For Hi-Lite working with Aerostar has been a gratifying experience. This partnership has allowed Hi-Lite to establish local presence in Puerto Rico. Hi-Lite has been able to assist in making SJU one the best airports in the Caribbean and in the world. Hi-Lite’s goal is to provide effective solutions to the critical challenges for airfield maintenance. “We feel that this partnership has been a key factor in getting the SJU airport in top shape and ready for the millions of passengers that depart and arrive every year” said John McNeely Hi-Lite’s President & CEO. “Knowing that Aerostar values our work and continues to trust us is very rewarding” he continued.
Services: Rubber Removal, Airfield Markings, Consulting