Airborne Maintenance to build new widebody hangar

Washington DC
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Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services (AMES) plans to start building a new, two-bay hangar at Ohio's Wilmington Air Park in January.

Construction of the $15.5 million, 100,000ft2 (9,290.3m2) hangar will take 12 to 14 months, the MRO provider says. The Air Transport Services Group-subsidiary will be able to fit an aircraft as large as a Boeing 747-400 or Boeing 777-300ER in the new space and will nearly double its heavy maintenance capacity.

The project is funded by a nearly $14.6 million financing package from the state of Ohio, to be repaid through a long-term facility lease. This package will be supplemented with $525,000 in local grants and $3 million in donations and financial incentives.

The Clinton County Port Authority (CCPA) will own the hangar, which is part of the 768.9ha (1,900 acre), two-runway Wilmington Air Park. DHL Express donated 607ha (1,500 acres) to CCPA in June 2010 after the company moved its main hub to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to focus on international shipments rather than domestic business.

AMES operates a three-hangar, 210,000ft2 (19,510m2) repair facility at the Wilmington Air Park today, with heavy maintenance capabilities for McDonnell Douglas DC-8, DC-9 and MD-80 models as well as Boeing 727s, 737s, 757s and 767s. The MRO also operates a 100,000ft2 component repair shop at the air park that includes specialised capabilities for APUs, wheels and brakes, composites, machining and manufacturing. It has line stations positioned at the Greater Cincinnati and Miami airports.

AMES has started recruiting new staff for the facility and expects to add 259 new jobs with the expanded space. It expects to bring its employment at the air park to more than 640 people over the course of three years.