Celebrating the first anniversary of the opening of GTF engine overhaul capability at its Eagle Services Asia (ESA) facility, Pratt & Whitney reported at the Singapore Airshow’s opening day that it expects to double the number of engines processed at the plant since the first overhaul in January 2019. The line capability accounts for part of Pratt’s $85 million modernization of the Singapore facility, one of three GTF engine centers in the Asia-Pacific region.
The modernized facility can accommodate multiple engine overhaul lines for a variety of engine models, namely the PW4000 family, the GP7200, and now the PW1100G geared turbofan.
“More than 60 percent of our global GTF fleet is currently flying in this region, and Asia-Pacific is home to a number of carriers that operate GTF-powered A320neo aircraft in their fleet,” said Brendon McWilliam, executive director of Asia-Pacific aftermarket operations.
Of course, the GTF line also benefits the Singapore economy, opening several jobs and cross-training opportunities for locals.
“The opening of the GTF line underscores Singapore’s position as a leading MRO hub for the region and its contribution to the global aerospace value chain. We are excited to be a key part of Pratt & Whitney’s efforts to Go Beyond for its GTF airline customers in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Gian Yi Hsen, executive director of conglomerates at the Singapore Economic Development Board. “This investment also creates new opportunities for our local engineers and technicians to be up-skilled and cross-trained on different engine platforms and highlights the fulfilling career opportunities that the aerospace industry offers.”
Adopting advanced technologies, automating some processes, “going wireless,” and ensuring continuous learning and development for employees in its operations has further enhanced engine overhaul from disassembly to reassembly and testing, said Pratt & Whitney. The company flew in leading expert trainers to groom employees based locally on disassembly, assembly, and testing. It also conducted benchmarking trips to Pratt & Whitney and other engine centers around the world to strengthen the local knowledge base at ESA.
“Our customers for both the GTF and GP7200 engines and existing PW4000 fleet have witnessed the benefits from our investments in an upgraded ESA facility to integrate technologies, automate operations, and expand output," explained ESA general manager Ying-Kiong Yip. “Beyond increasing productivity and efficiency, our success in up-skilling our workforce at the Singapore engine center enables us to further support growing MRO needs for the Asia-Pacific region in the coming years, against a backdrop of rising travel demand by consumers here.”
Singapore is a member of the global network of MRO facilities that service the GTF engines. The GTF MRO network spans three continents, consisting of engine centers operated by Pratt & Whitney, MTU Aero Engines, Japanese Aero Engines Corporation, Lufthansa Technik, and Delta TechOps.