Sabena Technics plans to open its new avionics repair shop in Bogotá in the middle of this year, with operations due to begin in September.

The facility is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Miami-based avionics specialist Barfield, which Sabena Technics acquired from EADS in 2007, and will initially concentrate on avionics testing and repair.

In the long term, however, its MRO capabilities are to be extended to other components, such as hydraulics, air conditioning and in-flight entertainment equipment.

Construction of the workshop started after Avianca-Taca contracted Barfield in January to support its Airbus A320 fleet of 60 aircraft. "It's a matter of being close to the customer," Sabena Technics chief executive Christophe Bernardini said last month.

It was important "to be on the floor of the operations, because Avianca-Taca is investing a lot in airframe capabilities at its maintenance centre in Bogotá".

However, the company plans to attract other customers to its new facility.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news