The operator of Beijing Capital Airport is seeking to establish China’s first third-party business aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility with a foreign partner. Capital Airports Holding subsidiary Capital Jet says it has discussed opening an MRO centre dedicated to business jets with three foreign companies, including Switzerland’s Jet Aviation and Australia’s Hawker Pacific, and plans to enter into talks with other potential partners, writes Brendan Sobie in Shanghai.

Capital Jet executive director Zhao Qi Jiang hopes to finalise a deal this year and open a maintenance hangar “as soon as possible”. China Aeronautical Project & Design Institute chief architect Fu Shaohui says Beijing airport has set aside space for a business aircraft maintenance hangar near the commercial aircraft maintenance hangars operated by Air China and Lufthansa joint venture Ameco Beijing. Fu says Ameco’s hangars can accommodate aircraft as large as Boeing 747s and the airport has set aside space in its master plan for a new commercial aircraft hangar that can accommodate Airbus A380s.

While Ameco can service the presidential aircraft that Capital Jet handles, including 747s, Zhao says Ameco is not interested in adding a business jet capability. Business aviation MRO specialists Jet Aviation and Hawker Pacific, however, have been looking at opening a facility in China for several years. Industry sources say problems finding a suitable local partner and concerns that China’s business jet fleet is not yet large enough to support an MRO facility have so far prevented them from going forward with any Chinese project.

Mainland China’s small business jet fleet, which consists of only 13 aircraft, is now serviced overseas.

Source: Flight International