Air Ni­ug­ini an­nounces ma­jor air­craft main­te­nance cen­tre

Fiji Sun - - Sunbiz - Geo­graphic lo­ca­tion Ser­vice cen­tre Jack­son’s Air­port Devel­op­ment pro­gramme Source: Air Ni­ug­ini [email protected]­

Air Ni­ug­ini plans to be­come a key player in global air­line servicing in a move that will significan­tly con­trib­ute to the Pa­pua New Guinea econ­omy with the in­tro­duc­tion of the Air Ni­ug­ini Main­te­nance Repair Over­haul (MRO) fa­cil­ity.

The ini­tia­tive is be­ing driven by Manag­ing Direc­tor Alan Milne, whose en­gi­neer­ing background with Qan­tas iden­ti­fied huge po­ten­tial in the tal­ent within the Air Ni­ug­ini en­gi­neer­ing and main­te­nance teams.

Mr Milne said PNG’s geo­graphic lo­ca­tion, tal­ent and in­fra­struc­ture made them a log­i­cal op­tion for air­line servicing for op­er­a­tors in Aus­tralia, Asia and the Pa­cific Is­lands. “We have some of the best tal­ent in the en­gi­neer­ing space that I’ve seen in my 40 years in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try,” Mr Milne said.

“But be­yond that, fi­nan­cially it makes sense to con­sider the Air Ni­ug­ini MRO when air­line op­er­a­tors are spend­ing mil­lions of dol­lars to have their air­craft ser­viced as far away as Europe.”

The MRO fa­cil­ity has al­ready com­pleted its first full ser­vice a Dash 8 be­long­ing to Solomon Air­lines; that was de­liv­ered back to the op­er­a­tor this week.

The con­tract was won in a com­pet­i­tive pitch process and has been com­pleted more than a week early.

The ser­vice cen­tre will spe­cialise in heavy main­te­nance checks known as a C check which is a manda­tory ma­jor in­spec­tion of all air­craft af­ter a cer­tain pe­riod of time and flight hours.

Typ­i­cally, these are car­ried out every two to three years. A and B checks are done every two to six months. Heavy main­te­nance checks can take up to five months to com­plete, with tech­ni­cians in­spect­ing all struc­ture and com­po­nents of the air­craft. Air Ni­ug­ini’s MRO is based at Jack­son’s Air­port in Port Moresby and will spe­cialise in a range of air­craft in­clud­ing the Dash 8 and Fokker air­craft.

Prior to the Air Ni­ug­ini fa­cil­ity open­ing for ex­ter­nal air­lines, car­ri­ers pre­vi­ously had to fly their fleets of air­craft to other ser­vice hubs in Asia and as far away as Europe.

This opportunit­y will also give Air Ni­ug­ini a new in­come stream that will mas­sively con­trib­ute to the fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity of the PNG’s na­tional air­line.

Mr Milne said the new cen­tre will also con­trib­ute to the broader PNG econ­omy with dozens of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“This is a win-win-win sce­nario. For Air Ni­ug­ini, for PNG and for the air­lines who will ben­e­fit from this new com­pet­i­tive MRO.”

Mr Milne also cred­ited the air­line’s con­tin­u­ous train­ing and suc­cess­ful pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment pro­gramme for its’ en­gi­neers that has made this pos­si­ble.

There is ca­pac­ity be­yond the air­line’s cur­rent work­load; with a much broader opportunit­y to grow the MRO busi­ness in an on-de­mand ba­sis.

PNG’s Prime Min­is­ter James Marape ap­plauded Air Ni­ug­ini for look­ing at op­por­tu­ni­ties out­side of tra­di­tional air­line in­come av­enues. “We’re proud of Air Ni­ug­ini - our na­tional car­rier and its in­no­va­tion and strate­gic di­rec­tion like the heavy main­te­nance ser­vice cen­tre that will en­sure the fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of that busi­ness,” Mr Marape said.

Mr Milne has been the Manag­ing Direc­tor of Air Ni­ug­ini for 12 months.

Prior to this role, he was with Qan­tas for 36 years in var­i­ous se­nior roles in­clud­ing Head of En­gi­neer­ing for Qan­tas In­ter­na­tional. Feed­back:

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