Business aviation services group Jet Aviation (Booth P328) is set to significantly boost its maintenance capability in Asia when it completes construction of 79-foot (24-meters) high second hangar at Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park by the end of this month. The new $25 million facility will triple the size of its present facility adding almost 54,000 sq ft of hangar space.
During a recent visit to Seletar, Jet Aviation president Robert Smith told AIN that his company’s ability to grow its presence there is thanks, in part, to the “proactive policies of the Singapore government.” The decision to expand was driven by the growing demand for large, long-range business jets in the Asia Pacific region. “Asia is by far the fastest growing region and Europe is flat,” said Smith. “We expect to fill capacity [in the new hangar] and have a second shift soon.” Switzerland-based Jet Aviation, which is wholly owned by General Dynamics, itself manages 27 aircraft in Asia.
The new hangar will be able to accommodate up to five Gulfstream G650s or five Bombardier Global Express 7000s. Jet Aviation plans to tap business from neighboring countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Thailand and Australia.
While there are just 10 to 15 business aircraft registered in Singapore itself, Jet Aviation selected the country as its Asian hub because it is business-friendly and offers good access to a large prospective customer base. “The nice thing about Singapore is they decided to give Seletar a business aircraft focus, moving away from Changi. At Hong Kong, business aviation is an ugly stepchild.
“Singapore incentivizes people to come here. What you see is what you get. And English is the spoken language,” said Gary Dolski, Jet Aviation’s Asia Pacific vice president and general manager. Dolski is also responsible for the company’s operations in Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Jet Aviation is the first maintenance, repair and overhaul provider to collaborate with Singapore’s Air Transport Training College, also in Seletar Aerospace Park, to jointly offer a licensed aircraft engineer training program for business aviation. The company recently transferred ownership of a Dassault Falcon 20 aircraft to the ATTC.
“With our new hangar facility nearing completion, we have a vested interest in developing a highly skilled pool of local talent to support our customers in the region,” said Dolski. “Singapore is not inexpensive. It’s about efficiencies, and we have a network around the world. One of the risks we are facing is to fight for talent and retention. Our only competitive edge is our employees,” he said, concluding, “Experience cannot be built overnight.”
Hangar Facts: The hangar structure was lifted to a height of 79 feet (24 meters) in just seven hours. It spans 328 feet (100 meters) and has no center column. A Fengshui master was brought in to advise and, following this, adjustments were made to the design. A mango tree used by Hindus as a shrine was uprooted and replanted.