MAEL sets up third UK heavy MRO base in Birmingham

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Luton-based MRO provider Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL) is building a widebody hangar at Birmingham airport.

The facility is due to be completed by the end of 2013 and should initially employ around 150 staff members - a number that could double in the future, says Iain Rawlinson, executive chairman of Monarch Group.

At 110,000ft² (10,200m²), the hangar will accommodate two Boeing 777-300ERs or up to 10 narrowbodies. It will be tall enough for 747s and equipped to support composite aircraft, such as the 787 and Airbus A350.

The facility will include different back shops for component repair, the company says.

It will be MAEL's third heavy maintenance base after its headquarters in Luton and another facility in Manchester.

The new facility will be used in addition to the pre-existing capacity, rather than replacing work at the other two sites. MAEL says its third-party business grew from 18% of the company's turnover in 2010 to 27% this year.

This figure is expected to grow to "almost 40%" over the next three years, it adds.