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July 2018


Airbus and Thai Airways International (THAI) have signed an agreement to establish a new joint venture MRO facility.


The new MRO centre will be one of the most modern and extensive in the Asia-Pacific region, offering heavy maintenance and line services for all widebody aircraft types. The facility will feature the latest digital technologies to analyse aircraft maintenance data, as well as advanced inspection techniques, including the use of drones to monitor aircraft airframes.


The MRO complex will also have specialised repair shops, including for composite structures, as well as a maintenance training centre offering extensive courses for technical personnel from Thailand and overseas.

The joint venture between Airbus and THAI will be located at U-Tapao International Airport, at the heart of Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The EEC is a core part of the Thai government’s Thailand 4.0 policy, designed to develop world class innovative technology-based manufacturing and services in the country.


Rolls-Royce provided a further update on 30 May on the management of a durability issue affecting the Intermediate Pressure Compressor (IPC) in a population of Trent 1000 engines, known as Package C engines. Since identifying this issue, the company has undertaken a wide range of engineering analysis and engine tests to further its understanding of the cause. While this work has focused on Package C, it also considered whether the same durability issue may occur on other Trent 1000 engine variants.


A similar IPC durability issue has now been identified on a small number of high life Package B engines and Rolls-Royce has agreed with the relevant regulatory authorities, with concurrence from Boeing, to carry out a one-off inspection of the Trent 1000 Package B fleet. The Package B standard has been in service since 2012 and consists of 166 engines.

These inspections will be supported by an EASA AD and the company anticipates that there will be a limited impact on customer operations to enable this programme of one-off inspections to take place. Engines will be inspected on-wing using existing techniques.


Rolls-Royce is committed to eliminating this IPC durability issue from the Trent 1000 fleet and has already successfully run a redesigned Package C IPC in a development engine. As a precautionary measure it has also launched a redesign of the relevant part in the Package B engine as well as in the Trent 1000 TEN engine, where, although currently a young fleet, it has not seen any examples of reduced IPC durability.


ST Engineering’s Aerospace sector has opened a new airframe MRO facility in Pensacola, FL. The new facility, which can carry out heavy and line maintenance, as well as aircraft modification work, joins two others that ST Engineering has in the US, located in San Antonio, TX and Mobile, AL.


Located at the Pensacola International Airport, the new hangar has been developed at a cost of $46 million. At 16,120m², it is one of the largest hangars in ST Engineering’s global network of airframe maintenance facilities. The facility has an annual capacity of 600,000 labour hours, and can accommodate at any one time two Boeing 777-300ER or six Airbus A321 narrowbody aircraft.


United Parcel Service will be the launch customer.

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