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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Intelligence: News

Hawker Beechcraft Starts Construction on Indianapolis Service Complex

Wichita, Kan.-based Hawker Beechcraft Corp. has broken ground on its 66,500-square-foot Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) maintenance and service facility at Indianapolis Intl Airport (IND). The $14-million center, which will create up to 50 jobs over the next five years, is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2009. It will include a 40,000-square-foot hangar, 6,500-square-foot terminal and 20,000 square feet of back shops and offices. Users will be able to take advantage of wireless Internet access and conference rooms while waiting for their aircraft.

The location will serve as a factory service center for HBC’s entire line of aircraft, including the Hawker 4000. The development, along with a company facility in Mesa, Ariz., "is part of a major growth plan for HBS that is focused on providing the industry’s best customer support," says Bill Brown, president of HBC global customer service and support. A groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 17 took place near the project site on Pierson Drive.

Hawker Beechcraft has 12 service centers worldwide, providing MRO and upgrades to corporate, government and private operators, with additional major facilities in Wichita, Salina, Kan., Little Rock, Ark., Chihuahua, Mexico and Chester, England.

Cessna Makes Multiple Announcements at NBAA

Cessna Aircraft Company has gained corporate approval to build a new European Citation Service Center in Spain. The Spanish facility will complement the Citation Service Center at Le Bourget Airport outside Paris, France, which has been operating since 1997.

"We have almost 900 Citations in Europe and the number grows every month, so we need the additional capacity to continue to provide the high quality service our customers are used to getting," said Mark Paolucci, senior vice president, customer service for Cessna at the 2008 NBAA Conference in Orlando.

"We conducted an extensive location search before deciding on Spain, and we are very pleased with the cooperation from Spanish authorities," Paolucci said. "Cessna and Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA) in Madrid have signed a letter of intent to develop a site in Spain and "are working on specific details toward a final contract." Cessna hopes to break ground on the new facility in 2009 and begin operations there in late 2010.

Cessna also recently named Wallan Aviation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as an authorized Citation Service Center. The certification for Wallan applies to all 500-series Citations. "Our Gulf customers now have access to local service from a top aviation company," said Paolucci. In addition, the company also named TANEJA Aerospace & Aviation in Bangalore, India and Kinch Aviation in Nottinghamshire, U.K. both as authorized service stations.

Paolucci also announced Randy Soutiere will be the general manager of the new Citation Service Center in Mesa, Ariz. That facility is scheduled to open in January 2009. Soutiere has been with Cessna since 1992 when he joined the company as a flightline mechanic. He moved into greater roles of responsibility quickly including positions in quality, field service, Six Sigma and customer service. Most recently Soutiere was managing process design and control where he oversaw the flat rate system and ProTech Labor Program while developing and implementing lean methodologies in the Citation Service Center network.

Cessna says construction of the new 100,000-square-foot facility is nearly complete. The facility will replace the company’s Long Beach, Calif. service center. More than 65 percent of the workforce at Long Beach accepted Cessna’s offer to relocate to Mesa.

LHT to Complete A318s at BizJet Tulsa

Lufthansa Technik is increasing its capacity for customized completions of VIP and business aircraft by setting up a single-aisle completion line at its American subsidiary, BizJet in Tulsa, Okla. The new facility will begin outfitting Airbus A318 Elites with individually customized cabins beginning in 2009. Later it will also provide extra capacity for other aircraft, the company announced at NBAA 2008.

Lufthansa Technik says the demand for VIP and executive jet completions is so strong that the completion center in Hamburg cannot handle all orders on its own. The present need to expand production capacities in this area is due, in particular, to the market success of the Airbus A318 Elite program, in which Lufthansa Technik is Airbus’ contracted completion partner. So far, Lufthansa Technik has delivered three A318 Elites, and it is currently working on four more aircraft of this type in Hamburg. In May 2009, completion will begin on the first A318 Elite in Tulsa, where three single-aisle completion lines will be ready for use by 2011.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa Technik’s Completion Center in Hamburg is being significantly expanded to handle demand for customized interior completions of large and very large VIP and government aircraft. Beginning in 2010, the Hamburg site will have the capacity to outfit three widebody aircraft with VIP cabins simultaneously. The company has signed contracts or letters of intent for three Boeing 747-8s and three Boeing 787s.

In addition to contracts for outfitting two Airbus A330s and two Airbus A340s by 2011, letters of agreement have been signed for three Boeing 747-8s and three Boeing 787-8s, to be completed by 2018. Lufthansa Technik says it is currently negotiating with another six customers on Boeing 787 completions, and a further five customers on 747-8s to be outfitted in Hamburg. The widebody completions scheduled between 2009 and 2011 include the two new Airbus A340s acquired by the German government for its air force (in addition to two Airbus A319s), which will be delivered in 2010 and 2011.

"The main focus of our expansion in Hamburg is on large and very large private aircraft, which is why we will shift some of our narrow-body completions to our subsidiary BizJet in Tulsa, and some of our maintenance activities for VIP aircraft to our new subsidiary in Basel, Lufthansa Technik Switzerland," said August-Wilhelm Henningsen, chairman of LHT.

Duncan to Establish Third Major Service Center in Provo, Utah in Summer 2010

Lincoln, Neb.-based Duncan Aviation has announced plans to build a 320,000-square-foot business jet maintenance complex at Provo Municipal Airport (PVU). Slated to open in summer 2010, the facility will offer nose-to-tail airframe and engine maintenance, interior completions, avionics installations and painting. The complex will be made up of 180,000 square feet of hangar space, support shops and office space.

According to company officials, PVU will initially employ 150 people — a number expected to grow to 650 over the next 15 years. Duncan will invest around $58 million at the site during that period. PVU will serve as Duncan’s third full-service facility, with the other two in Lincoln and Battle Creek, Mich. The company has a network of more than 20 satellite avionics locations and seven affiliated engine shops in the U.S.

In early October, Duncan added Mather Aviation of Sacramento, Calif. to its list of satellite avionics locations. Based at Mather Airport (MHR), the shop will perform avionics line service and offer remote assistance through Duncan’s rapid response teams. A work away station at Mather’s facility in Hayward, Calif. will assist MHR, which is an FAA certified repair station.

Embraer Establishes Bradley, Gateway Centers

Embraer has opened two new executive jet service centers — at Bradley Intl Airport (BDL) in Windsor Locks, Conn. and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA) in Mesa, Ariz. A third facility is scheduled to open at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Intl Airport (FLL) by the end of this fall. Each one of the $10-million centers features 47,700 square feet (4,431 square meters) of hangar, workshop and office space, offering airframe, engine and avionics repairs, maintenance, inspections and AOG assistance for Legacy 450s, 500s and 600s, as well as Phenom 100s and 300s. Other services include painting, interior refurbishments and parts. Embraer is investing more than $100 million in its service network. The company will hire around 60 employees at each location, and mechanics and initial administrative personnel are already in place at BDL and IWA. Training on Phenom 100 service began at the end of September at Phoenix-Mesa, and is slated to begin in late October at Bradley. Partners with the Mesa site include the State of Arizona, City of Mesa and IWA Airport Authority and the State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation and BDL Airport Authority in Windsor Locks. Barge Waggoner Sumner designed each of the facilities and Chase Construction is the builder. Both are based in Nashville, Tenn.

Dassault Bolsters Service Network

French business jet manufacturer Dassault has opened a 116,000-square-foot expansion of its Falcon completion center in Little Rock, Ark., as well as a 20,000-square-foot spares facility in San Jose, Calif. The company has also announced plans to build two new Falcon service centers in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Reno, Nev. Additions at the Little Rock location include a four-bay, 66,500-square-foot paint hangar, production and design areas, warehouse space and a new flight line. The paint hangar has air filtration and downdrift airflow systems, as well as a "virtually pollution-free" environment for topcoat and primer installations, according to the company, which invested $20 million at Adams Field Airport (LIT).

A joint venture with UPS, the San Jose spares depot will serve as a U.S. west coast distribution center, housing Falcon parts worth more than $34 million by the end of 2008.

The facility will also extend the ordering hours for East coast operators to 10:00 p.m. for next-day delivery. Dassault opened two additional parts centers in Shanghai, China and Mubmai, India earlier in 2008. Both focus on the Falcon 900, 2000 and 7X lines.

At 40,000 square feet, the Reno service center is scheduled to open in 2009, performing line maintenance up to C-checks for western U.S. operators. An AOG mobile response team will also be based in Reno. The facility will employ more than 40 people and support all current production Falcon models, as well as the Falcon 50.

Sorocaba Airport in Sao Paulo will house a $6.5-million service center with a 23,000-square-foot hangar. Projected to open in the fourth quarter of 2008, the center will offer line maintenance and A-checks for up to three Falcons at a time. Spare parts, tooling and an AOG team will also be based at the Brazilian center, which will suport production aircraft and out-of-production models such as the Falcon 10, 20 and 50.

Students, Bahamas Habitat to Refurb Piper

Bahamas Habitat has partnered with students from the Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C. to undertake a refurbishment project on a donated Piper Cherokee 180. Plans call for the group to return the aircraft to service. According to Steve Merritt, aviation program officer for North Carolina DOT and Bahamas Habitat treasurer, says that Wayne Westerhold of Cary, N.C. donated the Cherokee 180.

"Even though the aircraft is currently disassembled, we see that as a blessing in disguise," Merritt says.

"This project has the potential to benefit so many people," he continues. "It will give the students at the Broughton Transportation Academy invaluable experience as they work alongside our technical advisors on the refurbishing of our Cherokee 180. The students will not only gain wonderful hands-on experience and learn about a career in aviation, they will also know that they are doing something that will benefit people less fortunate than they are."

Once the aircraft is back in airworthy condition, Bahamas Habitat’s headquarters on the island of Eleuthera will receive it, according to Merritt. "We are already very active on Eleuthera and there is a dire need to expand our faith-based services to other islands."

"Having the Piper Cherokee 180 based at Eleuthera will reduce the travel time from Eleuthera to Abaco by over five-hours in each direction," he adds.

"The airplane will save time and give us the reach we need to take our services and help to more needy people in the islands." Broughton Transportation Academy students will take a full academic year to finish the project. Bahamas Habitat will provide funding and aircraft parts and materials to rebuild the Cherokee 180, and supply volunteers to mentor the students and provide technical guidance. The organization needs various parts to assist with the project, including a serviceable Lycoming O-360 engine, an exhaust system for the O-360, Garmin MX-20 Multi Function Display, GX-60 GPS/COM and SL-30 NAV/COM, airframe parts and a Mode S transponder.

StandardAero Commences Winnipeg Expansion with Groundbreaking

DAE Engineering subsidiary StandardAero has broken ground in an 80,000-square-foot expansion of its facility in Winnipeg, Canada. Projected to open in June 2009, the additional space will house between 60 and 120 employees by the end of that year, with another 150 to 200 by 2014. During the groundbreaking ceremony, Manitoba Premier Gary Doer said the province would assist StandardAero with $20 million in grants, adding that the facility "will enhance Manitoba’s position as a leader in the highly specialized area of aircraft manufacturing and maintenance."

The Winnipeg update was part of several announcements from StandardAero at NBAA. Led by its Enterprise Services group, the company has poured $3 million in its engine shop in Los Angeles, Calif. The facility has a Honeywell TFE331 test cell, a TFE731 speed line cell, a TFE731 and CFE738 heavy maintenance cell and a supply cell.

StandardAero has also launched a Honeywell DU-875 flight deck upgrade for the Falcon 900 and obtained an STC to remove Pratt & Whitney PT6A-41 series engines from King Air 200s and replace them with PT6A-42s.

Savannah Gulfstream Service Center Continues Massive Growth

Gulfstream Aerospace launched the next phase of construction on its service center at Savannah – Hilton Head Intl Airport (SAV) with a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 30. The second phase of the project involves 348,248 square feet, including a hangar capable of housing up to 18 large-cabin aircraft, and repair shops, an engine run-up area and offices.

Set to begin offering services in the third quarter of 2009, the second phase is part of a seven-year, $400-million complex covering 679,199 square feet. The first phase opened in Aug. 2007.

After Gulfstream completes the second phase, an existing 209,000-square-foot service facility will become a G650 completions center.

Also at the site, FlightSafety Intl opened an expansion of its Gulfstream maintenance training facility in Savannah on Oct. 1. The addition, which doubles the amount of space, features classrooms, a hangar for practical training, graphical flight deck simulator rooms, avionics flight trainer stations and a customer lounge. FlightSafety Intl estimates that the complex will train more than 5,000 technicians per year.

For daily and breaking news in aviation maintenance, go to: www.AviationToday.com

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