SUBANG: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) will collaborate with Dassault Aviation’s subsidiary ExecuJet MRO Services Malaysia to set up Asia’s centre of excellence for business jet maintenance with an investment of over RM100 million.

MAHB managing director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood (pix) said the new facility which would span 144,000 square feet (sq ft) in Subang Airport and accommodate up to 45 aircraft per month is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2023.

“Subang Airport has been pioneering the maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) for aerospace and aviation since 2005. It forms part of the group’s larger Aeropolis development which focuses on the three core clusters of Aerospace and Aviation, Cargo and Logistics, and Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and Leisure.

“Aeropolis is the integrated and synergistic off-terminal development that focuses on key economic growth activities which are aligned to national blueprint,” he said at the collaboration document exchange ceremony here today.

He further said that the ultimate aim of Aeropolis is to create an aviation ecosystem that can attract foreign direct investments by global operators.

Based on the current ecosystem that exists in Subang Airport, he said it is well on track to achieve this ambition as the airport aerospace ecosystem is recognised as an integral part of the global aerospace manufacturing and assembly value chain, as well as a regional MRO hub for general aviation.

“Apart from attracting foreign investment and contributing to the local economy, we will be enhancing human capital by upskilling local talents with technical knowledge and new capabilities, whereby ExecuJet will be investing heavily in training its local workforce,” he said.

ExecuJet is one of the many established global aviation players that are currently based in Subang Airport which has been operating there since early 2009 and was the largest business aircraft MRO service provider in Malaysia.

The strategic collaboration will see MAHB subleasing 186,000 sq ft to ExecuJet to build a new state-of-the-art MRO hangar for private jets at Subang Airport, with space for hangarage, maintenance, workshops and corporate offices, Iskandar said.

Meanwhile, regional vice-president Asia of ExecuJet MRO Services, Ivan Lim said this new RM100 million investment to cater for ExecuJet expansion which includes the purpose-built facility, equipment upgrading and training would lift the facility to the next level.

“At our current facility of about 52,000 sq ft, we are doing about 30 jets a month at the moment, and about 40 jets a month pre-pandemic. With the new facility, we expect to cater to 45 to 50 jets a month,” he said.

He noted the current facility has about 70 technical staff members and expected to have about 100 staff members in the next five years.

On the outlook of MRO services, Lim said the business remained resilient despite being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is very much dependent on the number of aircraft in the region.

“However, it is obvious that general and business aviation had recovered much quicker than commercial aviation post-pandemic particularly in this region, hence we are very confident of this market and investment,” he added. - Bernama