Region VII: Middle East/Asia (MID)

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ABACE2012 Site Is First OEM-Authorized Service Center in China

November 21, 2011

A landmark joint venture agreement between the Shanghai Airport Authority and an Australia-based aircraft service company culminated with the opening of the first authorized service center for an original equipment manufacturer in China. The new Shanghai Hawker Pacific (JV) Business Aviation Service Centre represents a unique partnership between private industry and the Chinese government.

Located at Hongqiao International Airport, Shanghai Hawker Pacific was awarded its Part 145 certificate by General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) on November 8. The facility is 51 percent held by the Shanghai Airport Authority, with the balance controlled by Hawker Pacific, and has the capacity to handle more than 40 business aircraft a year.

Carey Matthews, general manager of the fixed base operation (FBO) adjacent to the maintenance facility, stated CAAC was "very supportive" throughout the formation of the joint venture. "They have seen the value of business aviation for several years now," Matthews stated. "Prior to our MRO, the principal facilities they have worked with have been airline maintenance operations. Despite the fairly significant styles as to how these organizations work, the CAAC easily grasped how business aviation and maintenance support needs to operate."

Beyond its symbolic importance, the Shanghai Hawker Pacific maintenance facility also represents the first truly "local" option for regional business aircraft owners to have their aircraft serviced. The facility will initially offer maintenance services for the Hawker 4000, with follow-on maintenance for the Dassault Falcon 7X to be added soon.

"Shanghai is the one city in China with two major airports – Pudong and Hongqiao," Matthews explained. "As a result, its combined business aviation traffic is significant. [Our facility] is centrally located and well-positioned for international traffic."

Those attending the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) next year will see those benefits firsthand, with the event taking place at the Shanghai Hawker Pacific FBO and maintenance facility on March 27 to 29, 2012. Exhibitors and Attendees will find a 4,000 square meter (43,056 sq. ft.) hangar facility, and ample ramp space for both aircraft parking and Exhibitor "chalets."

Matthews noted ABACE2012 will mark another high point for everyone who worked to make the joint venture a reality. "From the first discussions with Hawker Pacific, this project has taken several years to launch," he concluded, "but throughout the whole effort, the airport never wavered. Today we have a world-class FBO and MRO, have the first authorized service center for an OEM in China [Hawker Beechcraft], and have a very healthy customer base.

"This project is one of the key foundational pieces for business aviation coming to China, and it is a delight working with two companies that have had the grit and determination to make it happen."

Based on figures released by the Shanghai Airport Authority, the number of business aircraft flying to and from Hongqiao International Airport this year is expected to increase nearly threefold over 2010 numbers, with approximately 3,500 operations by the end of 2011.