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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Intelligence: News

Falcon Service Center Expands at Le Bourget

Dassault Falcon Service (DFS) has opened a 50,000-square-foot expansion at its Le Bourget Airport (LBG) complex in Paris, France. Construction of the facility, which includes around 41,000 square feet of hangars and 9,000 square feet of offices and warehouse space, took 10 months to complete.

The hangars can house up to four Falcon 7Xs or seven Falcon 900s at a time. Yves Gueyffier, general manager of DFS, notes that the additional space will increase capacity for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, regular inspections and ramp service. He says the expansion "features a clear, unobstructed work area which significantly increases our service center capacity while optimizing the efficiency of the service process." The French aircraft manufacturer also has maintenance facilities in Little Rock, Ark., Wilmington, Del. and Reno, Nev., and plans to construct another service center in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

HBS Adds Paint Facility to Chester Maintenance Center

Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) has opened a 25,000-square-foot paint facility at its Hawarden Airport (CEG) aircraft maintenance center near Chester, England. As part of the paint shop addition, the company is realigning its maintenance, interior modification and refurbishment services at the CEG complex. Construction on the paint facility — which features lean production and process techniques to limit the impact on the environment — was finished in Nov. 2008. A paint bay and corresponding preparation area will accommodate aircraft up to the size of a Hawker 4000. It can house up to four smaller-size aircraft at one time. Painters, designers and technicians will work together to handle a projected volume increase at the facility. HBS has a network of 12 service centers in the U.S., Mexico and the U.K.

Eurocopter Plans Helicopter Maintenance Complex in Aberdeen, Scotland

Eurocopter U.K. has announced plans to build a more than 20,000-square-foot helicopter maintenance facility at Kirkhill Commercial Park in Dyce, Aberdeen, Scotland. The complex will feature a 10,000-square-foot logistics warehouse, 5,000 square feet of offices and 5,360 square feet for an EC225 flight-training simulator. Aberdeen serves as a hub for several major offshore operators, including Bond Offshore, Bristow Helicopters and CHC. It already supports 59 EC225/Super Puma family helicopters, which conduct around 85,000 flight hours annually in offshore service.

Knight Property Group will begin construction on the 1.2-acre site after a groundbreaking in April, with opening projected in December 2009. Markus Steinke, managing director of Eurocopter U.K., says the Aberdeen facility will serve as "the latest of a growing range of high quality support services which we provide to our UK customers, both civil and military. We aim to have a network of local operations close to our customers throughout the U.K." He adds that with a strong presence in England, Wales and Ireland, "we are pleased to be now making a further commitment to Scotland."

CDAS Gets Diamond Award

FAA has awarded Neosho, Mo.-based CD Aviation Services with an aviation maintenance technician (AMT) Diamond Certificate of Excellence for continued dedication to maintenance training. All of the company’s eligible employees participated in the 2008 AMT awards program, and nine technicians received Ruby awards — Mark Ballinger, Don Carr, Bill Dorgan, Tim Forker, Ed Martinez, Danny Moore, Adam Row, Kenny Sanderson and Darren Thoreson. It is the second year in a row that CD Aviation Services has received the Diamond award.

Pictured from left to right are Rick Gibbs, CDAS general manager, Ballinger, Row, Carr, Sanderson, Dorgan, Moore, Forker, Thoreson and Martinez. CDAS is an authorized service center for Honeywell TPE-331-1 through TPE331-12 series and TFE731-2 through TFE731-60 series engines, and GTCP 30/36 and RE 100/220 series APU engines.

King Airs, Hawkers to Perform Weather Missions

Weather Modification Inc. (WMI) has taken delivery of two Hawker 400XPs, a Hawker 900XP and two King Air 200GTs that will undergo modifications and be used for weather and air quality monitoring in Saudi Arabia. In partnership with Fargo Jet Center, WMI has begun installing atmospheric research instruments and cloud seeding equipment on the aircraft. WMI President Pat Sweeney explains that the project is seeking to replenish the region’s underground aquifers "with the goal of increasing rainfall in a country that needs it." WMI has conducted research and cloud seeding operations in Saudi Arabia for the past three years, and estimates that it will take another three to five years to complete the trials. The program involves a total of 12 aircraft. WMI expects that the five aircraft currently being converted will begin performing missions in April 2009, with the full 12 aircraft operational by March 2010. Fargo Jet Center is an avionics and maintenance repair station and a designated Hawker Beechcraft service center.

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