STRATEGIC PARTNERS IN SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE
Taking over the operations of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico presented many challenges for Aerostar Airport Holdings. Determined to ensure continuous growth at the Northeastern Caribbean Airport, they assumed responsibility to oversee the day to day operations, as well for the completion of in progress and future projects, including an airfield infrastructure upgrade.
Aerostar had to undertake significant work on the airfield, like extending Runway 8-26, repaving taxiways, upgrading the navigational aids, to name a few. 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 ever since they have sustained a collaborative relationship to maintain airfield safety and compliance.
Hi-Lite’s initial role at SJU was to help the airport prepare for the first Part 139 inspection under Aerostar’s management of the airport. 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.
Over time, Hi-Lite and Aerostar’s relationship has grown stronger, adding services and working alongside Operations. “We see Hi-Lite as part of Aerostar. Their commitment and professionalism precedes everyone else that we have worked with and we feel they are here for us and we can count on them”, states Nelman Nevarez, Operations Director for Aerostar.
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.”