Kazakhstan's Air Astana opens MRO facility in Almaty

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Kazakh flag carrier Air Astana opened a new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Almaty on 23 September.

The facility is equipped to handle non-destructive testing and repairs to wheels, batteries and aircraft structures, the airline said in a statement.

The Kazakh carrier expects the facility to lead to savings of over $1 million in the first year.

The facility's engineering capabilities will be upgraded to ensure it is able to undertake complex aircraft maintenance services (C-checks) on both its own aircraft and those of other carriers by the end of 2012, the airline added.

Air Astana expects the facility's brake and composite material shops as well as structural maintenance workshops to be ready for certification by the European Aviation Safety Authorities (EASA) by the end of 2011.

The airline is also looking at the possibility of creating calibration and hydrostatic laboratories.

"Both Air Astana and the government of Kazakhstan are committed to seeing the country become the region's focal point for aeronautical engineering excellence, both in terms of the availability of highly qualified manpower resources and international standard MRO capabilities," said Peter Foster, the president of Air Astana.

"The opening of Air Astana's new engineering facility in Almaty represents a major step towards reaching this national goal," he added.