Much infrastructure change was required to accommodate the type. Conversion of the first hangars at its London Heathrow Airport base commenced in January 2010, and preparation for the second hangar started as the first was completed in March 2012.
More than 138 tons of steelwork were added to the roof of each hangar to create an eyebrow to accommodate the 24-meter-high (79-ft.-high) tail fin of the aircraft. Along with the hangars, two engine ground-run pens were established for the A380s. Engineers started B1 and B2 license training in May 2012 and there are now a total of 80 engineers trained to work on the A380.
As well as infrastructure and training, BA Engineering started to prepare data for maintenance, tools and inventory for the entry of the two new types into its fleet.
Steve Frewin, new aircraft readiness manager at BA Engineering, says that recommendations for tooling and spares from Airbus and Boeing were checked against BA’s own minimum equipment list before any purchasing decisions were made.
BA Engineering now holds a large number of A380 components at its Heathrow facility, rather than storing the entire inventory with Airbus Flight Hour Services. Inventory decisions will be important for BA Engineering as it plans to take on third-party A380 work, including heavy checks. Frewin says the MRO has “the capacity to carry out heavy checks and we do plan on offering this service to the MRO market.”
BA Engineering wants to grow its third-party work to 20% from today’s 10-12% by 2015.