Home' Asian Aviation : AAV March 2011. Contents AsianAviation | MARCH 2011 19
William Dennis / Kuala Lumpur
ST Aerospace adds freighter
ST Aerospace will add another passenger-
to-freighter (PTF) conversion line this
year, bringing its global total to six.
e h line was commissioned in
August 2010. Since the 2007 award to
the Singapore-based MRO provider of
the single largest freighter-conversion contract from
FedEx, covering 87 Boeing 757s, ST Aerospace has
redelivered 31 of the aircra to the customer.
e company has also secured supplemental type
certi cates (STCs) for 757 conversions from the Civil
Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and
Transport Canada. Both certi cates were developed
based on ST Aerospace's existing US Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) approval.
ST Aerospace PTF capability covers Boeing 727,
757-200, 767-300 and MD-11 models, as well as the
McDonnell Douglas DC10. e company has done
seven 767 PTF conversions for Japanese carrier All
Nippon Airways (ANA).
According to ST Aerospace president Chang Cheow
Teck, over the next two years more 767 aircra will
become available for freighter conversion as Boeing's
new 787 Dreamliner enters ser vice. "Being the only
Boeing-approved conversion centre for 767 aircra , we
are preparing for an in ux of 767 PTF conversions,"
ST Aerospace has completed 62 MD-11 PTF
conversions -- more than any other ser vice provider.
Chang believes that there will be a decline in future
MD-11 PTF demand, with few passenger versions of
the aircra le in the market.
e Singaporean company o ers heavy-maintenance
capability for all Boeing and Airbus commercial aircra
currently in ser vice, except the A380, as well as some
military types. With hangar space accommodating as
many as 28 widebody and 39 narrowbody aircra , ST
Aerospace has been ranked for the fourth time as the
world's largest airframe MRO ser vice provider.
The company also offers MRO capabilities for
25,000 commercial and military aircra components.
Chang says the company's components business
continues to grow in Europe and these capabilities are
ST Aerospace's Madrid-based landing-gear joint
venture with Iberia Maintenance, which was set up
in late 2008, secured FAA certi cation in January. It
is the only certi ed FAA Part 145 certi cated MRO
station in Spain that specialises in Airbus A340, A330
and A320 aircra landing gear.
ST Aerospace's engine-maintenance capabilities are
focused on the CFM56 family and Pratt & Whitney
JT8D powerplants. e company has been appointed
by General Electric (GE) Aviation Services to provide
global on-wing support over 20years for GEnx-1B and
GEnx-2B turbofans, which power Boeing's new 787
and 747-8 aircra .
ST Aerospace joins the ranks of the few GE-
approved vendors in the world o ering MRO ser vices
for these powerplants.
e company now carries out engine MRO work
at its facility in Singapore. However, it is currently
investing in the construction of a new engine MRO
facility in Xiamen, China, which is expected to be
operational at the end of 2011. Chang says the Xiamen
facility will complement the Singapore engine facility
and enhance its ability to provide integrated MRO
Also in China, ST Aerospace is shaping an airframe
MRO joint venture in Guangzhou, in partnership with
Guangdong Airport Management Corp is taking shape.
is venture will focus on providing maintenance up
to D-check level for Airbus and Boeing aircra types.
Chang points out that Guangzhou is an aviation hub
in the region, adding that the new facility, which is to
open next year, will be operated and managed as part
of ST Aerospace's global network.
During the global downturn, airlines and freight
carriers were forced to cut excess capacity, parking
aircra at a rate not seen since the 11 September 2001
terrorist attacks. At the height of the recession in April
2009, reports indicated that there were 2,302 aircra
" e MRO industry saw a decrease in sales as a result
of reduced work available," Chang says. e parked
aircra included many Boeing 757 and 767 models, as
well as older, less e cient types such as 747-200/300s,
DC-10s, DC-9s and 727s.
"Presently, with the recovery of the aviation industry,
reports have indicated that more than 200 [of those]
aircra are back in ser vice," Chang says. He predicts
that more 757s and 767s will return to ser vice.
Despite the recovery in travel and air-freight
demand, the MRO market has not yet recovered, as
it typically lags behind any pick-up in airline capacity.
Chang says the time lag could be six to 12 months.
A recent study carried out by US-based consultancy
AeroStrateg y forecast that the MRO market will begin
recovering in 2011, with MRO spending expected to
hit US$58 billion by 2019, if demand continues to
grow and the world's economies recover from their
ST Aerospace won the biggest-ever contract for PTF conversions from FedEx in 2007.
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