FAA Approval Is Big Breakthrough For Shanghai FBO
The Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Center (SHPBASC), which is hosting ABACE this week here at Hongqiao International Airport, has made a lot of progress since the 2012 show. According to general manager Carey Matthews, the amount of traffic it has received since 2009 has grown by as much as 12 percent each year. This trend has continued so far in 2013 and by year-end the facility expects to have exceeded 4,000 movements for the first time in its history.
But probably the most significant breakthrough happened just a few weeks ago in February when the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approved the facility as an overseas repair station. This gives it the distinction of being the first dedicated business aviation support facility in mainland China to hold this Part 145 approval.
Shanghai Hawker Pacific filed its application just a few days before Aug. 3, 2008, when the FAA stopped taking applications for overseas repair station approval, following the failure of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to introduce security rules for such facilities. FAA officials completed an extensive on-site inspection in Shanghai during mid-January and the repair station certificate was issued on February 12. The evaluation included assessing the quality of the English spoken by Shanghai Hawker Pacific’s local staff, as well as carefully inspecting maintenance equipment and manuals.
“This certification marks the culmination of a sustained and persistent effort by the company to provide a strong foundation for business aviation in China,” said Matthews. “There are a number of N-registered aircraft that are based in Asia that are regular clients of the facility. The MRO is well situated to provide comprehensive support for those planes, and we feel this capability is key to the continuing development of Shanghai as a hub for business aviation in Asia.”
The 43,057-sq-ft maintenance facility is located alongside Shanghai Hawker Pacific’s FBO at Hongqiao, which opened in 2010. SHPBASC is a joint venture between aircraft service group Hawker Pacific and the Shanghai Airport Authority.
The company is already an authorized service center for both Dassault Falcon and Hawker Beechcraft jets and has been approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to support Bombardier Global 5000 and Global Express/XRS aircraft. Last year, Cessna signed a memorandum of understanding that should see the company confirmed as an authorized service center for its Citation family.
In October 2012, Shanghai Hawker Pacific received approval from the Cayman Islands authorities to repair aircraft on its register, and it expected to get Bermudan certification in March. Hawker Pacific is already FAA-licensed at other facilities in its support network, which includes Singapore.
The Shanghai facility also now has the capability to service aircraft batteries. “This allows us to store and repair batteries and avoids operators being delayed with complex hazmat [hazardous materials] and shipping issues,” Matthews told AIN. o