Bombardier demand leads AMAC to build fifth hangar in Basel

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AMAC Aerospace is building a fifth hangar at Euroairport in Basel, Switzerland, which will mainly be used for maintenance work on Bombardier and other mid-size aircraft.

AMAC’s first hangar in Basel was completed in 2008, with further hangars built in 2010, 2012 and 2015. With the latest investment, AMAC’s facility will expand by approximately 22,000m² (236,806ft²). The new hangar is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2020.

Hangar five has a different design to AMAC’s other hangars – it will not have a round roof, because it will be next to runway 26. But like the other four hangars, wood will be the dominant material inside. At 120m (394ft), hangar five will be the longest hangar AMAC has built; its current longest is 90m (295ft). The new hangar is 4,850m² (52,205ft²), giving room for three or four Global 7500s or six or seven Challenger 350 aircraft.

This hangar will be dedicated mostly to Bombardier’s products and other mid-size aircraft. AMAC is a Bombardier Authorized Service Facility and says demand for maintenance support is growing.

AMAC Aerospace also reported that last year it experienced a sound recovery in terms of wide-body completions. The company has two wide-body green completion projects in progress in Basel at the moment. One is the first ACJ320neo, delivered by Airbus at the beginning of 2019. This project for launch customer Acropolis Aviation is now at the interior finishing phase and is scheduled for re-delivery by the end of 2019. The second wide-body project is a green BBJ 747-8i completion for a head of state. This is AMAC’s second BBJ 747-8i completion. AMAC has also signed two customers for BBJ 737 Max completions.

The company also recently unveiled an ACJ350-900 cabin concept developed in cooperation with the Italian design studio Pininfarina, and taking inspiration from its expertise, which ranges from nautical to architectural interior design.

AMAC took the opportunity to develop a material that is required on a daily basis and in big quantities. This challenge is managed by AMAC’s sister company JCB Aero, which specializes in composite and carbon fiber production techniques and methods, carrying out completion work utilizing its DOA and POA status.

AMAC also noted strong demand for high speed connectivity in VIP completions – saying it was one of the fastest developing areas. The company installed 12 Ka-band systems in 2018, and has established more than 10 STCs, including for the installation of Honeywell’s JetWave Ka-band antenna system.

In addition, the company has seen a surge in both narrow- and wide-body maintenance. “At the same time, we see an increase in demand for complementary work being requested during maintenance downtimes,” said Waleed Muhiddin, director of business development and marketing for AMAC Aerospace. “This includes updating satcom, refreshing soft furnishings and additional modifications.”

Another hot spot for maintenance work at AMAC is its facility in Bodrum, Turkey, which opened at the beginning of 2018. The business model includes line and base maintenance checks on commercial aircraft during the winter, with line maintenance support for business aviation clients in the summer, as well as private aircraft handling, AOG support and parking for business aviation clients during the summer.

Looking at today’s business, AMAC says it has sufficient work for the next two to three years, but this does not stop the company considering new contracts and projects. “Our company doors are always open to discuss any current or future enquiries,” said Muhiddin. “However, due to the limited number of MROs around the world, slot availability is paramount; our advice is to start with discussions and consultations on design and production as with maintenance inputs as early as possible.”

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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