Garuda Maintenance Facility ( GMF ) AeroAsia — a unit of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia engaged in maintenance, repair and overhaul ( MRO ) — will get its fourth hangar next year to ensure it can keep up with Garuda’s expanding fleet.
“We are in the process of building Hangar 4 with a capacity of 16 narrow-body aircraft and it will be operational in 2012,” GMF president director Richard Budihadianto said on Wednesday.
The hangar is built on a 18,000 square-meter plot of land, and is equipped with a purpose-built docking platform for heavy maintenance of narrow body aircraft.
Currently, GMF facilities cover 480,000 square meters of built-up floor space: the 22,000 square-meter Hangar 1, and Hangars 2 and 3, which are 23,000 square meters each.
Richard said that the three hangars were now able to accommodate as many as 29 aircraft. He declined to disclose the budget for Hangar 4.
However, citing a comparison, he said that Garuda had spent US$300 million to build three hangars in 1985.
He added that GMF was also planning to build a Hangar 5, which would house 4 wide-body aircraft, in either 2013 or 2014.
He said that GMF was working hard to have the fourth hangar finished in 2012, as it was receiving more and more orders from third-party clients.
“As you can see, we have several foreign aircraft here that are going to undergo overhauls,” he said.
On Wednesday, a Hellenic Imperial Airways’ Boeing 747 was undergoing an overhaul while three other aircraft were waiting in Hangar 3.
Richard said that the overhaul of the Hellenic aircraft was 50 percent complete.
“We also have plans to work with other MROs to expand more facilities in GMF,” he said.
He said that GMF had the capability to maintain and repair new aircraft made of fibre composite. He added that the company was training more personnel to work with the high-tech material.
“New aircraft and new engines are very important things for us, thus we are preparing them carefully because we are preparing our business for the next five to six years,” he said.
Garuda is in the process of expanding its fleet from the current 87 aircraft to 153 by 2015. The new aircraft will include Boeing the 737-800NG and the 777-300ER, as well as the Airbus A330-200, he added.
GMF on Wednesday celebrated its 10th Section 41 modification work on a Boeing 747. In the last 10 years, GMF has conducted Section 41 modification on nine B747-200s and one 747-300.
Six of the aircraft belonged to Garuda, three belonged to Pakistan International Airlines, which underwent maintenance from 1989 to 2000, and in 2011, and one 747-200 freighter belonged to Aerospace Consortium International, which will now be operated by Rayyan Air Pakistan.
“The success is an achievement for the Indonesian aircraft maintenance industry and the market for Modification Section 41 is quite vast,” he said.
Modification Section 41 involves replacing or reinforcing the aircraft’s skin, frame, stringer, inter-costal and several components in the nose area of Section 41. This work is based on the Service Bulletin ( SB ) 747-53-2272 published by Boeing Company. ( nfo )