Hawker Pacific is celebrating its continued growth beyond Australia and into the wider Asia Pacific region by formally opening its new Singapore operation during the airshow here this week. With construction started last year and completed last month, the new maintenance facility at Seletar Airport is three times the size of its old one (101,000 sq ft, and with 100 staff) and follows the 2010 opening of a similar base in Shanghai Hongqiao Airport in China.
The Seletar site’s MRO capabilities cover the complete range of Hawker Beechcraft and Dassault Falcon Jet business aircraft, plus the Embraer Phenom and Legacy models. The Brazilian airframer’s larger Lineage is due to be added later this year.
“It has been a very busy time for us straight on the back of the new development in Shanghai, which received its Part 145 approval from CAAC in December, so we are the first to get that in China, and we have great facilities out there,” John Riggir, Hawker Pacific senior vice president for Asia, told AIN. Maintenance activity at the Shanghai site has started with support for Hawker Beechcraft, Dassault Falcon and Bombardier aircraft. Riggir said business aviation is still very much in its infancy in China but he added that Chinese authorities now are being supportive in efforts to boost this side of the vast country’s aviation infrastructure.
“We’ve built for the future and the expanding market in Asia,” added Riggir. “We’re already very busy; looking out at our new Singapore facility, we have our maintenance hangar full with a F900EX Easy, three Falcon 2000s, two Hawker 900XPs, a Hawker 400XP, Embraer Phenom and Legacy and many other aircraft.”
Hawker Pacific’s new Singapore facility consists of three hangars. The main unit has space to park four large business jets simultaneously and is alongside the maintenance hangar. An aircraft-painting hangar is due to open by the end of March. “It is a fully filtered cross-flow booth meeting all the stringent environmental standards, and will allow us to paint aircraft up to the size of the Dassault Falcon 7X, G550/Bombardier Global Express to a new aircraft standard,” said Riggir.
The company has existed with its current name since 1978 and has its headquarters in Sydney, Australia. It is jointly owned by Saab of Sweden, U.S.-listed company Seacor Holdings and Lynton Aviation Holdings, a private investment company. Hawker Pacific is a Hawker Beechcraft, Bell Helicopter and Diamond Aircraft sales dealer and authorized service center for Hawker Beechcraft, Dassault Falcon Jet, Embraer Executive Jets, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney and Rockwell Collins. It also is a spares dealership and representative for many OEMs, such as Textron Lycoming and TCM.
Hawker Pacific also has operations at Sydney’s Mascot Airport (an FBO and hangars) and at Bankstown Airport, where the corporate headquarters are located (with a service facility focused on Hawker Beechcraft and Dassault Falcon models and Bell helicopters). The group also extends to an FBO network covering the Australian cities of Brisbane, Perth and Cairns–the latter being a Bombardier authorized service center for regional airliners and the largest of all its MRO operations.
The company has a service agreement with Australian flagcarrier Qantas to support heavy maintenance checks on its fleet of Bombardier Dash 8 twin turboprops. In addition, it provides through-life support for 16 Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350s used by the Australian government for training military pilots.
According to Riggir, gaining other through-life support arrangements, maintaining aircraft to military and civil standards, in Asia is a company goal. In this it works closely with the OEMs such as Hawker Beechcraft, offering support solutions in the region along with sales, and it can include everything from delivery and integration to full-life support.
Under a contract from Lockheed Martin, Hawker Pacific’s Perth facility in western Australia supports Pilatus PC-21s operated by Singapore’s air force. It also supports Malaysian government King Air 350s and King Air B200Ts, from a dedicated facility in the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Managing private and corporate aircraft management is a major growth target for the company in all its locations, said Riggir. Hawker Pacific also has a joint venture with the SkyPark FBO at Kuala Lumpur’s Subang Airport, an arrangement that has been in place since 2009.
In New Zealand it has an eight-year-old support operation at Auckland’s Ardmore Airport for Hawker Beechcraft and Bell aircraft. Meanwhile, the company is also the Bell Helicopter dealer in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the United Arab Emirates, with a base in Dubai, where it also runs RBI Hawker, a joint venture with Bell for the overhaul and repair of helicopter rotor blades. In addition, it runs a hydraulic overhaul shop and an avionics shop that was recently opened.
“This is a very successful operation that we hope to expand as new opportunities open up in the Middle East and [Indian] subcontinent,” said Riggir. “We also have a well-established Hawker Beechcraft and Bell service center in Manila [in the Philippines], where we currently employ over forty staff.
“We maintain a serious interest India,” Riggir told AIN. “We have been looking at an India strategy for some time, although more recently our focus has been on completing our new facilities in Shanghai and Singapore. Over the next 12 months we will be developing opportunities there and also with our neighbors in Southeast Asia. In India we plan to position ourselves in or close to one of the major centers, like New Delhi, where the key is to secure location and build relations with a strong local partner.”
Riggir noted that the OEMs are looking to move much greater levels of support into the Asia Pacific region and, with its experience and local knowledge, Hawker Pacific feels well placed to provide the right solutions. The company currently employs more than 500 people and current annual sales are in the region of $350 million.