British Airways Engineering wants to grow its third-party interior maintenance business with a new approval by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA granted the UK company with a Part 145 repair shop certificate for its interior and safety equipment workshop in South Wales.

The facility services interior fittings - including flight and cabin crew seats - as well as safety equipment such as evacuation slides, life vests and survival packs.

BA Engineering largely withdrew from the third-party maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market in the 1990s in order to focus on its parent company's fleet, prompting a sell-off of key facilities such its engine and landing gear overhaul shops.

But the company now plans to offer its remaining in-house technical capabilities to other operators.

The change in philosophy follows the merger of British Airways and Iberia under the umbrella International Airlines Group (IAG). Unlike BA, Iberia retained its maintenance subsidiary and has transformed it into a central player in the MRO market.

BA Engineering says that the FAA approval marks "a complete return to this key [US] market" for its interior MRO business.

Brian Currie, general manager for the interiors and avionics division, adds that BA Engineering is "eager to open up to commercial opportunities".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news