Dassault has announced plans to expand a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Sorocaba, a fast-growing regional hub that is itself getting a facelift.
As Embraer and Gulfstream have moved into newer, bigger facilities at Sorocaba in the past year, Dassault also has decided to increase its presence. It is now leasing an extra 10,000ft2 of hangar space down the runway from its existing, 23,000ft2 facility.
“It was time for us to expand our capacity,” says Jean Rosanvallon, president and chief executive of Dassault Falcon.
Dassault was the first major OEM to arrive in Sorocaba about five years ago. Its fleet of large cabin business jets in Brazil has since grown from 15 aircraft to more than 50 since the facility opened, Rosanvallon says.
Gulfstream has seen similar results since rededicating a Jet Aviation hangar in Sorocaba as Gulfstream Brazil in 2012. Brazil now operates a fleet of 42 Gulfstream jets, up from 14 five years ago. It has now moved to a larger hangar, which held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on 11 August.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian government has announced plans to improve general aviation airport. A regional airport revitalization initiative unveiled in July includes funds for installing an air traffic control tower in Sorocaba.
Other upgrades, including GPS-aided navigation, international arrivals facilities, and an expanded runway, have also been proposed.
The addition of the tower will improve the safety of airport operations, with large business jets taxiing near small aircraft used by a pilot training school.
Dassault is considering further expansion moves in Sorocaba. There is a new hangar under construction at the airport without a known tenant. Dassault officials they are considering using that space in the future, but have other options to accommodate growth as well.