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Britten-Norman enjoys new Romanian rhapsody

Britten-Norman (BN) has chosen Paris to show off its newly strengthened capability since acquiring Romanian aerospace company Romaero.

BN acquired its long-time airframe subcontractor last January, giving it hands-on control of Romaero Islander/Defender construction.

Other Romaero activity that now forms part of the BN Group is structure assembly for a number of European and North American aircraft manufacturers.

Romaero also maintains and overhauls commercial aircraft for operators throughout Europe.

Commenting on the merger, BN chief executive Paul Bartlett says: "The Romanians have a sound manufacturing infrastructure with some of the largest facilities in Europe. They have skills, capacity and certain cost advantages.

Reaping rewards

"We in the UK have aerospace approvals, good market knowledge and strength in IT and management. Together we have a global aerospace force to be reckoned with."

The merger is already reaping rewards - Defender 4000, part of the Islander/Defender series, is due to replace a piston-engined Islander that has served the Hampshire Police Air Support Unit for the last seven years and the triple-engined Trislander is enjoying renewed interest following an order for three aircraft from China Northern Airlines.

BN has now begun a four-year programme to enhance Romaero's profile and work portfolio by upgrading existing facilities at the company's Baneasa site and will work towards JAA approvals.

The company has also taken steps to strengthen its presence in maintenance repair and overhaul, technical publications and sub-contract manufacture of aerostructures.

BN's repositioning and expansion is due in no small part to its new corporate status as a member of US group Biofarm, which has interests in pharmaceuticals and insurance and intends BN to be the flagship of its intended aviation division.