The team at Airag Aviation Services have long been serving many clients from private owners to large charter operators, based all around Australia.
With a solid and expansive background in various types of aircraft, our well experienced engineers and fully equipped workshop can carry out maintenance efficiently and effectively, minimizing downtimes for owners and operators.
Our workshop also carries an approval by CASA, to manufacture replacement cables and hoses.
CASA Approval Number C518185.
Airag Aviation Services has roots that date back to the 1950s. Thomas J. Watson founded Aerial Agriculture Pty. Ltd. in 1952, occupying Hangar 17 here at Bankstown Airport. Tom, himself a licenced engineer, became a pioneer in aerial agriculture operations, and was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2003, for service to the aerial agricultural industry in Australia. In 1999 he was awarded the inaugural Lawrence Hargrave Medal by the Royal Aeronautical Society for services to Australian aerospace. The Lawrence Hargrave Medal is the most prestigious award in Australia for services to aviation—the next winner was the team that invented the Black Box Flight Recorder. This puts in context what backgrounds and drives Airag Aviation Services—a tradition of skill and craftsmanship recognized at the highest levels.
Importing the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver aircraft from the De Havilland factory in Canada, to be employed in aerial agriculture operations, Tom was the world’s largest civil operator of the Beaver, the fleet being second only to the U.S. Air Force. The Beaver has become a heritage and an icon of the company to date. Aerial Agriculture through various subsidiaries expanded to Victoria and South Australia and at its peak was one of the largest aerial agriculture companies in the world at one point operating 75 aircraft in all forms of general aviation, maintaining its own fleet.
Since the 1950s, maintenance for the Beaver and other aircraft at the time, was carried out in Hangar 17 at Bankstown Airport. Maintenance and safety standards were of the highest order and were so high, that the company was able to profitably self-insure its aircraft fleet. Apart from maintenance, Hangar 17 carried out complex reconstructions of, and repairs to, aircraft, including successfully rebuilding and combining two crashed DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft into one that was certified for operations. A Beaver was converted into one powered by a turbo prop and this aircraft still flies today nearly 50 years on, a testament to the attention to detail and thoroughness for which the company was famous, which tradition continues today.
Since Aerial Agriculture occupied Hangar 17, there have been a few owners and variations to the name in the many years, however the heritage, craftsmanship and the tradition that was born into this very hangar, continues to be carried on by our team today.
To more accurately portray the company it is today, Airag Aviation Services rebranded in the year 2000. The name “Airag” is derived from Aerial Agriculture. While still retaining the heritage, the company no longer offers aerial agriculture services such as crop dusting and spraying. But the skills, pride in a job well done, and attention to detail that has been the hallmark of the group continues to this day.
The history of Aerial Agriculture Pty. Ltd. was not officially recorded or provided for this website, however it has been compiled from the recounts of current staff that have been with the company for over 30 years to date, combination of external sources and the Watson family: