Sat, 09 Oct 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s largest private airline companies, Lion Air, is building a hangar complete with maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities worth US$40 million in Manado, North Sulawesi.

"The hangar is intended to become a center of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services," the company`s director of general affairs, Edward Sirait, said here on Friday.

The laying of the corner stone to mark its construction had been done on Thursday (Oct 7, 2010) by North Sulawesi governor Sinyo Harry Sarundajang and the company`s president director, Rusdi Kirana.

Edward said initially the facility would only be used internally for maintaining the company`s aircraft which is now at 64 but will increase to 178 following the delivery of B737-900ER the company has ordered.

"Nine months after the start of its construction yesterday the hangar would be completed with other facilities such as an engine shop, a cabin repair shop, an avionic shop, a non-destructive test shop,a hydraulic component shop, a wheel brake shop and ground support equipment on the ground floor while the second floor would be used for an office an employee guest house," he said.

Initially the project would be on a 12-hectare plot of land and the facility would be capable of accommodating two Boeing 737-900ERs.

"More land would certainly be needed in line with its development later," he said.
Edward predicted following its development at least 600 certified personnel with certain expertise would be employed there supported by up to 1000 workers.

"The market potential is big not only domestically but also regionally including East Asia such as Japan," he said.

With regard to human resources he said the company had already trained dozens of technicians in Surabaya, Bandung and Jakara.

In its press statement earlier the company said it was time for the company to have an MRO facility of its own in line with its increasing operations.

At present it serves 390 flights across Indonesia a day carrying 62,000 passengers. It said the number of passengers is expected to reach 20 million this year.

This means, Edward said, a hangar is urgently needed to meet the development of national aviation industry.

He said the facility would cut cost of maintenance, increase employement, tax revenue, manpower`s capability in maintenance service and reliability, security and safety of the company`s aircraft. (*)