Boeing Enterprises is to decide by the end of next month whether to acquire the long range fuel tank manufacturing and installation business of PATS. Boeing confirms that it is conducting a feasibility study on the potential acquisition.

Columbia, Maryland-based PATS holds a contract worth as much as $300 million over 10 years to manufacture and install a company-developed extended range fuel tank in the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ). PATS also manufactures long range tanks for other Boeing models, including the the new 717, the 757, 767 and the MD-80. According to PATS president Jack Frost, long range fuel tanks will make up 80% of the company's business volume this year.

PATS opened a two-hangar facility to handle the BBJ fuel tank work at the former site of the Georgetown Aircraft modification and completion centre at Sussex County Airport in Georgetown, Delaware. PATS expects the first BBJ to arrive in Georgetown in August.

Frost says that PATS is willing to sell Boeing the fuel tank business so that it can focus on its other products, which include airstairs and aircraft oxygen, auxiliary power units, water and air humidification and ozone removal systems.

Source: Flight International