February 11, 2014
Credit: Empire Aerospace
There are already maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies in Asia Pacific doing airframe heavy checks on Bombardier aircraft, but the one in Singapore is the first in the region owned and operated by the aircraft manufacturer.
The new airframe heavy maintenance facility has one 32,000-sq-ft hangar, and another 15,000-sq-ft of office space. It will initially focus on handling Bombardier business jets, namely the Bombardier Global Express, Learjet 75 and Bombardier Challenger series aircraft. However, Bombardier’s Stan Younger, vice president for service centers, says they envisage that in future the facility will expand its repertoire to include Bombardier commercial aircraft.
The center began operations in September. It now has 40 employees, and has carried out 40 service events in the region, of which 26 were unplanned maintenance. There are about 220 Bombardier business jets based in Asia-Pacific, and many transient visitors at any one time from Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., says Younger.
One reason Bombardier chose Singapore as the location for its first wholly owned service center in Asia is because the aircraft maker already had a spare-parts depot in Singapore serving the region. In addition, Bombardier has a regional support office in Singapore and the company’s field service reps use Singapore as a base.
“Singapore is a strategic location for us, and Singapore’s Economic Development Board and Jurong Town Corporation have been great,” he says. EDB is responsible for marketing the Seletar Aerospace Park and JTC is responsible for managing the aerospace park.
He says some Bombardier operators prefer to have the aircraft maker handle the heavy checks on the aircraft. Prior to establishing the Singapore MRO facility, some Asian customers were flying their Bombardier business jets all the way to Tucson, AZ, in the U.S., to be worked on by Bombardier, Younger says.
The European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) as well as the civil aviation authorities of Singapore, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Malaysia have already declared Bombardier’s new facility in Singapore an approved MRO facility. Younger says they aim to get such certifications from about 15 countries in total and are currently working to get certifications from China, India and Canada.