KUALA LUMPUR: Full-service business jet maintenance facility, ExecuJet MRO Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd, plans to reinforce its local presence by having a new purpose-built facility in Subang Airport.
ExecuJet MRO Services Asia vice president Ivan Lim said the company’s new integrated maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility is expected to be completed in 2021 or by 2022.
Lim said ExecuJet MRO Services Malaysia would move its operations to a new facility with capacities between 100,000 sq ft and 150,000 sq ft from the current 64,000 sq ft facility that it leases at Subang Airport vicinity.
“We want to operate from one big facility. Hence, we are building an integrated new facility to cater to our MRO services in the region. It will come with space for hangarage, maintenance, workshops and paint shops as well as corporate offices,” he told the New Straits Times in an interview recently.
Lim said the design of its new facility would allow the company to maximise its future hangar’s space, which can accommodate between 10 and 15 long-range business aircraft, depending on the size of the particular aircraft.
“Once we operate in the new facility, we can increase our service capacities to about 40 to 45 aircraft monthly from the current after-sales service capacities up to 30 aircraft per month,” he said
He said the move is in line with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) Subang Airport regeneration initiative to position Malaysia as the regional MRO hub driven by the government’s support for the overall aviation sector.
“Malaysia has the resources and manpower as well as the land for future airport development or expansion. We have the right ingredients to make it happen.
“I’m sure any companies who want to invest – these are the things they will look at in terms of human capital and the availability of engineers and technical capabilities.
“We truly believe there is the potential for Malaysia to emerge as the business aviation hub in the region,” he said.
As the expansion continues, Lim said ExecuJet MRO Services aimed to grow its local workforce from the current 50 staff up to 80 staff when the new, larger MRO facility opens in the next two years.
“We hope to be able to employ more engineers, technical staff and administrators,” he said, adding that ExecuJet MRO Services provides services for three main aircraft manufacturers including Dassault Aviation, Bombardier and Gulfstream.
“We are good to serve these three brands for now. But in the future, we would evaluate any opportunity that arises,” he said.
Asked on when will the construction of its new facility to commence, he said it would be dependent on various approvals from the authorities to build the facility at Subang airport.
“It is not simple and the construction timeline will depend on the final approval from various authorities including MAHB and Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).
He said ExecuJet MRO Services could not disclose investment value for its new facility, citing that the company was still dealing with various stakeholders to confirm the exact value.
“Principally, we agreed to invest but have yet to determine the exact investment value as we are still in discussion with construction companies and contractors,” he said.
Having certified by 10 civil aviation authorities globally, ExecuJet MRO Services is also working to receive certifications from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and the Civil Aeronautics Administration of Taiwan.
“We have two main certifications - the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
“For a facility to be certified by these two authorities, it means a lot with certain minimum standards in compliance with their law and regulations,” he said.
Lim said Malaysia has a bright future to be the regional hub for business aviation sector.
Comparing Subang Airport to other regional airports, Lim said there are Tier 1 airports that faces issues of congestion, like Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore's Changi Airport, and space is an issue due to massive traffic.
“Some of these primary airports are currently undergoing major infrastructure constraints – they are all congested. Whereas, Subang Airport has plenty of space and is a city airport that is nearer to the city,” he said.
Lim said business aviation in other countries has always been treated like a second-child in many countries in terms of the landing rights, as a priority would be given to commercial aviation first, unlike in Malaysia.
“MAHB has embarked on the journey to designate Subang Airport as the business aviation friendly airport. That is very encouraging as far as we are concerned about the space availability because there would be more aircraft flying in the future,” he said.
Lim said Subang Airport has good basic infrastructure and it was Malaysia’s international airport previously, which so it has long enough runways.
“MAHB has communicated with us on the new masterplan for Subang Airport. As an MRO services provider, we can provide all kind of services to business aviation needs,” he said.