September 04, 2013
AAR has received FAA approval to start operating the 520,000 sq. ft. facility in Lake Charles, La., previously occupied by Aeroframe.
The FAA granted the operational approval on Aug. 30, three weeks after AAR signed an agreement to acquire the facility.
The company started seeking FAA approval for the site—its sixth—immediately after signing the agreement, and had hoped to receive the agency’s sign off “within weeks,” according to Dany Kleiman, AAR’s aviation services group vice president-repair and engineering.
The large site is capable of simultaneously accommodating seven widebody or 10 narrowbody aircraft, and an additional 118,000 sq. ft hangar that will big enough to house an Airbus A380 is being constructed.
AAR expects that additional facility to be completed by the end of 2014.
AAR is launching operations with 250 people, but it hopes to double its staff at Chennault International Airport by 2017 as demand dictates.
The large facility in Lake Charles enables capacity-constrained AAR to expand its widebody maintenance capability and recruit from a strong base of experienced aviation personnel in the region.
In an interview with Aviation Week in mid-August, Kleiman said most of AAR’s current widebody MRO work is performed on Boeing 767s, but the company would like to add aircraft such as Airbus’s A330, A340, A350 and A380, and Boeing’s 747 and 787 to its roster.