Two years after signing the deal at the 2003 Dubai airshow, Emirates Airline and General Electric are forging ahead with construction of a huge new engine test facility at Dubai airport. The 6,000-sq-ft, $45 million building, set to open in January 2007, will house an indoor test stand with a data acquisition system and engine “preparation to test” area.
Engines of up to 150,000 pounds thrust will be accommodated in a turbofan test cell almost 43 feet in diameter. Emirates will initially use the facility to test the Engine Alliance GP7200s ordered for its 45 Airbus A380s, along with the GE90-115Bs for its Boeing 777s; Rolls-Royce Trent 500, 700 and 800 series engines powering its Airbus A340-500/600s; and Honeywell GTCP331-350 auxiliary power units.
Further ahead, the airline plans to expand its capabilities and eventually offer engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for other airlines in the region.
The Dubai-based carrier is also building a $350 million engineering center at the airport to maintain a fleet set to grow to more than 160 aircraft by 2012. It says it intends to offer third-party MRO services at the facility, which is designed to accommodate the A380. The center is scheduled for completion early in 2006.