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Air Works to open first MRO near Bangalore

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Aviation maintenance provider Air Works today announced that it has received approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to set up its first commercial maintenance, repairs and overhaul (MRO) operations in Hosur, near Bangalore.

Air Works, which has got the approval for airframe maintenance for the seventy-seater ATR 72 aircraft, hopes to get approval for Boeing 737s and Airbus 320s in future. The company will perform services such as line and base maintenance, aircraft painting, structural repairs, cabin and avionics upgrades. It will also be offering component repairs and spare parts sourcing.

The aviation industry in the country currently has a total fleet of 80 operational ATRs. Last year, the company received investments from US-based GTI Group LLC and Indian infrastructure major Punj Lloyd.

“We think this is a good time for setting up an MRO. A large part of the maintenance work is outsourced by airline companies. Getting it done in India would mean cost benefits of 40 per cent as compared to getting it done in the US and Europe and around 20 per cent in compared to the Gulf and southeast Asia,” said Frederick Groth, CEO of Air Works.

The Hosur MRO currently has one hangar capable of housing two ATR 72 or one narrow body aircraft. The Hosur airport has a newly extended 7000 ft X 150 ft runway, capable of accepting all commercial aircraft types.

The company will start operations with one existing hangar and will soon build two more hangars to be ready by no later than 2009-end. Going forward, Air Works plans to invest up to $40 million for setting up the additional hangars, the paint operation, and future engine/ component MRO activities.

The company has already announced a joint venture with UK-based Air Livery Plc to set up a aircraft painting centre by the end of 2009.

Air Works’ General Aviation MRO is already the largest in India with over 60 per cent market share. The company currently does DGCA-approved maintenance on over 75 aircraft including Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault, Hawker, Cessna, Beech and others. It recently announced an authorised service centre agreement with Honeywell under which it will offer maintenance, repairs and service facilities for Honeywell engines TFE 731 and CFE 738 series along with auxiliary power units (APUs).

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