22 September 2011
Kazakhstan sets its sights on becoming major MRO centre in Central Asia
Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s leading carrier, opened a new internationally approved engineering facility in Almaty today. The facility is equipped to handle non-destructive testing and repairs to wheels, batteries and aircraft structures. Air Astana’s investment in the facility will save it over US$1 million in the first year, as it becomes independent of foreign maintenance service providers.The facility is a milestone in Air Astana’s plan to create a leading aircraft maintenance centre serving Central Asia and the CIS. This process will see the airline progressively upgrading its engineering capabilities to the point where it will be able to undertake complex aircraft maintenance services (C-checks) on both its own aircraft and those of other carriers by the end of 2012. Brake and composite material shops, as well as structural maintenance workshops will be ready for certification by the European Aviation Safety Authorities (EASA) by the end of 2011. The airline is additionally investigating the possibility of creating calibration and hydrostatic laboratories.
“Both Air Astana and the government of Kazakhstan are committed to seeing the country become the region’s focal point for aeronautical engineering excellence, both in terms of the availability of highly qualified manpower resources and international standard MRO capabilities,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana. “The opening of Air Astana’s new engineering facility in Almaty today represents a major step towards reaching this national goal.”
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