Sunday, August 1, 2004
EADS Aeroframe Builds Big-Airplane Business
EADS Aeroframe Services of Lake Charles, Louisiana is an FAA- and JAA-approved repair station providing a full range of maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for aircraft operating in the Western Hemisphere. "Our initial focus and expertise has been with Airbus aircraft," said John Schildroth, the company's executive vice president and COO. "Our development strategy includes developing engineering services to support aircraft modifications and upgrades."
EADS Aeroframe Services's specialization on Airbuses is no surprise given that the company is a subsidiary of EADS North America, which is associated with EADS Sogerma Services of Bordeaux and Toulouse, France, all part of the EADS family of companies (EADS owns 80 percent of Airbus and BAe 20 percent).
The MRO shares space at Chennault Industrial Airpark, the former military base where Northrop Grumman also hosts its Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) program. Initially the fit between EADS and Northrop Grumman led to the creation of EADS Aeroframe Services, as Northrop was gradually winding down the JSTARS program and EADS was searching for a location to provide services for the more than over 900 Airbus aircraft flying in the Americas, North, South, and Central America as well as the Caribbean. The Lake Charles location filled the bill as a large facility with an experienced workforce and moderate climate. The company also received attractive incentives from local and state governments.
Today, EADS Aeroframe Services has more than 500,000 square feet of facilities with enough hangar space to service eight wide-body aircraft simultaneously. The runway is 11,200 feet long and capable of handling the largest aircraft, and there is more than 100 acres of parking space available. EADS Aeroframe Services recently added a new 23,000 square foot climate-controlled warehouse and a 7,000 square foot composite shop.
Facilities: Centrally based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, EADS Aeroframe Services provides maintenance services to North, South, Central American, and Caribbean Airbus operators.
Total Hanger Space & Bays: The facility occupies four hangars with eight bays capable of handling eight widebody or 12 narrowbody aircraft and up to A340/B747-size. There is also a 24,000 square foot mezzanine for both narrow- and widebody aircraft. The facility has paint and strip hangars capable of utilizing all paint manufacturers' systems.
MRO Capabilities: EADS Aeroframe Services provide Airbus family maintenance and overhaul services including all letter checks, cabin and systems modifications, painting, repair and overhaul of components, APUs, and landing gears, and executive interior modifications. Airframe types serviced include heavy maintenance on A300B4, A300-600, A310, A319, A320, A321, and line maintenance for A330 and A340 aircraft. Full engineering services are available on-site or through sister company EADS Sogerma Services.
Partnerships: EADS North America, which contributes more than $6 billion to the U.S. economy annually, is the holding company for the North American activities of EADS. Subsidiaries include EADS Aeroframe Services, which is also affiliated with EADS Sogerma Services of Bordeaux and Toulouse, France.
Annual Manhour Capacity: 450,000
Goals: "As we enter 2004, our focus will be to expand into other airframes while continuing to serve our core business of providing quality service to Airbus operators and owners. We also [plan] to enter the aircraft completion business, whether in outfitting interiors for corporate use, or refitting passenger aircraft for leasing companies," said Schildroth. — By James Careless