GMF AeroAsia adds CFM56-7B engine test cell facility

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Garuda Indonesia's maintenance arm GMF AeroAsia has enhanced its capabilities with the addition of a CFM56-7B engine test cell facility.

The facility, jointly developed by General Electric and CFM International, with input from GMF's engineers, was launched by Garuda and GE on Wednesday, 20 February 2013.

It is an upgrade of GMF's CFM56-3 engine test cell, which conducted engine tests on Boeing 737 aircraft.

The upgraded facility will have the capability to test CFM56-7B engines that power Boeing 737NG aircraft. This will make sure they meet stringent standards before being installed on the aircraft. The engine test cell has various sensors that simulate actual flying conditions.

With this upgraded facility, GMF will have the capability to conduct a full overhaul of the CFM56-7B engine in 2015, allowing Garuda to maintain its growing 737-800 fleet locally. By 2016, it will hit its capacity of maintaining 150 engines annually to cater to market needs, says Garuda president and chief executive Emirsyah Satar.

There are some 314 CFM56-7B engines being operated in Indonesia, and another 556 elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific. This engine population is also expected to grow by about 13% on average annually till 2020, says GMF president and chief executive Richard Budihadianto.

"This figure clearly reflects the potential market to be tapped," he says.

Emirsyah adds: "Building the CFM56-7B engine test cell capability is an important milestone for Garuda and GMF in our goal to have engine shop capabilities, and to become a maintenance and service centre of excellence in ASEAN [the Association of South East Asian Nations]."

Garuda operates a fleet of 105 aircraft including the Airbus A330, Boeing 737 and Bombardier CRJ1000.