Increase Jet’s Value

Not only does upgrading your private jet’s interior allow you to personalize it, make it functional, and heighten aesthetics, a facelift also adds to the jet’s value if and when you decide to sell it. That being said, you should give careful consideration to making up-to-date technology and style improvements.

In the two years it may take to deliver a new aircraft with the “latest and greatest” features, those features may already be old hat, but a typical cabin upgrade for a used aircraft will take only six months, and the technology will still be relatively new.

David J. Wyndham, vice president and co-owner of Conklin & de Decker, claims third-party companies often seek to enhance aircraft in terms of functionality, performance, or looks. But when you evaluate an aftermarket upgrade for your aircraft, consider the impact on the aircraft’s value.

Ask yourself whether the upgrade represents a step forward in technology closer or equal to that of a new variant. If the current production models have a particular feature that is also offered as an upgrade to your model, then that change likely adds value to your aircraft.

Also question whether most buyers will commonly accept the upgrade, or is it something only you and a few others can and will use, Wyndham recommends. Although an upgrade has to make sense for you and your aircraft mission, you also need to be aware of its impact on the future value of your aircraft.

Buying a used jet and refurbishing it costs less than a new aircraft — even with the latest in high-speed Internet connectivity, a cabin-management system with Blu-ray video, a couple of 42-inch HD video screens, satellite television, and docks for such carry-on entertainment as iPods and video games. Even when you add cockpit avionics upgrades and exterior paint, it’s still a bargain compared with a brand-new aircraft.

And of course, if you do choose to renovate a used aircraft, the project comes with its own set of questions, including whom to hire to do the renovations. Be aware that such a project can require numerous meetings and up to 18 months from the initial meeting until delivery. The process involves choosing amongst countless product options, ongoing inspections and reviews, negotiations and more.

It’s important to hire an experienced, independent consulting firm in the early stages of the process for valuable input during the negotiation phase, specification development and design integration to save time, money and risk of misinterpretation. The consulting firm will monitor the milestone schedule, participate in all program reviews, design reviews and inspections, and identify potential issues early in the program before they become major issues resulting in rework, change orders or schedule delays.

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