Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Co (GAMECO) is developing plans to build a third hangar at its base near Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, while construction of its second hangar continues.

Land for the proposed third hangar has been set aside and the MRO firm intends to start the "approval process" next year, GAMECO general manager Norbert Marx said in an interview with Flightglobal.

"We are now in the conceptual phase and kicking around the layout. The plan is to have it operational by 2017," he added.

The third hangar can hold four widebodies and eight narrowbodies concurrently. It will allow GAMECO, which receives 72% of its business from maintaining the fleet of shareholder China Southern Airlines, to bring in more third party work.

GAMECO is a joint venture between China Southern Airlines and Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa Aircraft Investment.

Construction of its 60,000m² (646,000ft²) second hangar, which started in September 2011, is due for completion by mid-2013. It will have space to hold eight narrowbodies with engine and maintenance support shops, and new training facilities.

"Our hangars are to accommodate the growth of China Southern and bring in more third party work," Marx said. "The demand for MRO work is still pretty strong here. GAMECO's current hangar, which can hold four widebody and eight narrowbody aircraft, is now operating at full capacity."

Marx expects the Chinese aviation industry to grow up to 10% annually over the next decade and his target is for GAMECO's business to grow about 15% yearly.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news