A VIP aircraft interiors center has opened at the Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore. ST Aerospace will use the facility to provide cabin interior design, engineering, installation and maintenance services, serving customers from across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
The Singapore facility is the second of its kind for ST Aerospace; the first was established in 2011 in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The team in Singapore will design, upholster and fabricate cabin interiors, as well as provide maintenance for narrow-body VIP aircraft, including BBJs and ACJs. Conceptual design and certification will be supported by the VIP interiors team in San Antonio.
The opening has created 70 skilled jobs; all the engineers and craftspeople employed at the Singapore facility have received skills training in San Antonio to learn the detailed processes that go into VIP completions – from cabinetry and upholstery, to interior design, certification and installation.
“We see potential in reaching out to customers in this region for VIP aircraft interiors,” said Lim Serh Ghee, president of ST Aerospace. “Besides increasing our geographical footprint to provide convenience to customers in this region, what is also exciting is the amount of skills transfer involved. New skills are imparted from our successful setup in the USA, to ensure we offer the same level of aesthetics, engineering and on-time delivery.
“Going up the value chain, we believe this new capability in Singapore offers a complete suite of services that cover design, engineering and craftsmanship, enhancing the already strong aviation ecosystem here.”
The 2,690m² facility in Singapore comprises a design studio; workshops for carpentry, upholstery, sanding and painting; offices for the sales and marketing teams; and a hangar capable of accommodating a BBJ 757.
ST Aerospace’s VIP interiors design team will adopt a consultative design process with the customer or their manager, allowing them to customize each element, down to details including the wood grain, fabric, decorative features and upholstery stitches. The center is equipped so that aircraft owners can work with in-house designers to visualize the interior –using 3D renderings and 3D-printed scale models for the most realistic impression of each element before the production phase. When the layout and furnishings are agreed, the team will proceed to work on the carpentry, upholstery and IFE systems, for fabrication and installation.
On the same day as the opening, ST Aerospace announced the signing of five major refurbishment and maintenance contracts – for three BBJs, one ACJ and a BBJ 757 – from VIP customers in Asia-Pacific and the USA. Aircraft arrivals are scheduled through the first three quarters of 2016.
The projects will include C-level checks; landing gear and auxiliary power unit change; minor interior refurbishments; upgrading CMS and IFE; updating FANS 1/A with ADS-B OUT; improving Ka-band connectivity; upgrading traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS II version 7.1) transponders; and installing the newly designed tail-mounted Ku/Ka-band radome. Two of the projects, involving an ACJ319 and a BBJ 737, will be realized at the Singapore center.
“We notice a rising trend of aircraft operators requesting VIP aircraft cabin interior refreshment to be performed concurrently with heavy maintenance,” said Ang Chye Kiat, executive vice president of aircraft maintenance and modification at ST Aerospace.
“While we already offer a one-stop shop, we continue to enhance our in-house capabilities, as evidenced by the recent addition of a brand new VIP aircraft interiors center in Singapore and the expansion of our backshop support in the USA. We are confident that these investments will bolster our efforts to deliver world-class quality in aircraft interiors.”
February 12, 2016