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February 2017

New Qantas hangar at LAX bookmark

Qantas has unveiled its new engineering facility at Los Angeles International Airport, an investment of more than $30 million. It is one of the largest commercial hangars in North America and the first specifically designed to accommodate the Airbus A380. The 5.7 hectare site will be used to carry out maintenance checks on Qantas A380 and Boeing 747 aircraft during ground time in Los Angeles. It will also have capacity to support Qantas’ new 787-9 Dreamliner when it enters service in late 2017.


With 50% more space than the airline’s previous LAX hangar, which was also used to maintain its A380s and B747s, the facility has the capacity for four aircraft to be worked on simultaneously. Its higher capacity is expected to cut the time it takes to carry out maintenance tasks by about 20%. Its size means Qantas will also have the ability to bid for work on other carriers’ aircraft. The new building has enabled Qantas to consolidate its property footprint in LA, with 40 corporate employees moving into new offices in the hangar and joining the team of local engineers.


Features of the new hangar include:


  • Megadoors constructed from a translucent material that lets natural light through when the doors are closed, plus skylights in the roof 


  • A larger spare parts facility that includes two vertical lifts, enabling parts to be delivered to engineers quickly


  • Electric vehicle charging stations


  • Aircraft access docking including an adjustable tail-dock capable of supporting multiple aircraft types


  • Two aircraft parking pads with walkways directly connecting the aircraft doors to the workshop mezzanine level.
Ameco makes progress bookmark

Ameco has extended its base maintenance capabilities in both Beijing and Chengdu, and is also integrating resources in both facilities. In order to provide a more competitive service and to shorten the turnaround time in Chengdu, Lean is being used to optimise working processes and skilled mechanics have been transferred from Beijing.


Last year, Beijing developed C check services on the Boeing 747-8/8F and 777F, completing a 2C check on a 747-8F for an international customer and a 1C check on a 747-8 of Air China. It also completed C checks on more than 20 Airbus A330s. In 2017, Ameco will upgrade the Boeing 747-8 airframe capability to 4C check and develop the 777-300ER 2C check, A321 6C check and A330 8C check capabilities. 


Chengdu has two 757 passenger-to-freighter conversions in work, one of which is in the final phase of completion. In addition, two more 757s are already scheduled for conversion and Ameco expects a continuous workload of more than 10 conversions within the next two years.


This demand is being driven by rapid growth in the Chinese express delivery industry and has also generated more work on the associated Rolls-Royce RB211, now accounting for 50% of engine work. Customers include SF Airlines and China Postal Airlines, although it has also secured international customers in the Americas and Europe. Ameco became an approved RB211 repair station last year.


However, the company has also been developing IAE V2500 capability since 2015. It is now speeding up the in-house parts repair capabilities to shorten turnaround times and is expecting an increase in work this year. As it is a Pratt & Whitney approved repair station for the V2500, the customer base includes domestic and international customers. The other engine in its portfolio is the PW4000. Similar improvements to in-house repair capabilities are taking place at the APU workshop in Chengdu.


For airframe related components, Beijing has developed CFM56-5B, V2500-A5, and Trent 700 engine thrust reverser overhaul as well as A330 air inlet repair capabilities. In 2016, Beijing repaired seven V2500-A5 thrust reversers, six CFM56-5B thrust reversers, and 10 A330 air inlets. In 2017, Ameco plans to further develop repair schemes on thrust reversers and to enhance composite material repair skills.


In 2016, repairs in Beijing had a focus on avionics, communications, hydraulics, pneumatics, batteries, motors and integrated drive generators. To support 787 operation, it developed a repair capability on emergency slides, cylinders, wheels, brakes and batteries. Another new product was A330 landing gear overhaul, with the first being completed for Air China, making it one of three global providers. Chengdu concentrated on pneumatic components and the workload is expected to exceed 1,000 items by mid-2017. 


Line maintenance also had a busy year, with more than 10 new international customers being added. Beijing started to provide line maintenance on Air China’s 787-9 fleet of seven aircraft while Chengdu expanded its FAA approved Boeing 787-8/9 aircraft releasing service to Hangzhou.

In 2017, Ameco will develop capabilities on A350, A320neo and 737 MAX.

Rolls looks after lessors bookmark

Rolls-Royce has launched LessorCare in collaboration with AerCap. It draws together a range of services under one comprehensive framework, while still allowing lessor customers the opportunity to adapt the level of service throughout the life of the engine. Rolls-Royce is working on the design and introduction of LessorCare in advance of rolling it out to the wider lessor community later this year.


Under LessorCare, customers will sign one simple agreement covering all Rolls-Royce Trent engine types. This agreement will cover all the services they require, including:


  • Customer support – providing lessors with access to Rolls-Royce’s network of technical support, publications, and training, to optimise responsiveness and keep aircraft earning revenue


  • Transitions services – giving lessors access to a range of maintenance and availability services, to ensure aircraft move faster and more efficiently between leases. Services include return condition management, remarketing support, and maintenance value portability


  • Asset management – Rolls-Royce’s experience of working in close partnership with airlines worldwide gives us the capability to help lessors maximise engine values throughout their life-cycle. This includes the incorporation of enhancements to OPERA (Operating Lessor Engine Restoration Agreements) within LessorCare.


Beyond these initial services, Rolls-Royce will continue to work with lessor customers to develop LessorCare, working towards even closer integration between engine services and the lease agreements that lessors have with airlines. This will allow Rolls-Royce and lessors to provide even greater value to their common airline customers during the lease and transition of an aircraft.

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