IAI-Bedek’s MRO in China, Bedek-Lingyun, or Belinco, has some strong advantages in serving the fast-growing Chinese market and is expanding its services, according to Marketing EVP Refael Matalon.
Belinco was established in February 2016 at Sanxia airport at Yichang in the Hubei province of China. Near the Three Gorges dam, Yichang is more than 600 miles inland from the coast of China, where much of Chinese MRO is concentrated.
Matalon says Belinco is the only MRO in central China, which enables it to attract a lot of local talent from a city of more than four million and province of 60 million. In addition, Belinco has strong support from its mother company, IAI-Bedek, which can support all MRO tasks. Matalon says Belinco also has the only painting hangar in central China, which can attract customers who want painting alone or in addition to maintenance. “We also have a huge potential to paint widebody aircraft in the near future after Sanxia’s extended runway has finished construction,” Matalon says.
Belinco has been certified by the Civil Aviation Administration of China for Boeing 737NGs, the Airbus A320 family, Embraer ERJ145s and China’s own Xian MA60, and by FAA for Boeing 737NGs. It offers various levels of scheduled maintenance, repairs, modifications, painting, line maintenance, replacement of engines and APUs and nondestructive testing.
Recently Belinco signed an agreement with IAI-Bedek to convert 737-700s and 800s under and IAI-Bedek STC from passenger to cargo. It plans to start the work this year.
“The Chinese aviation market is growing rapidly,” Matalon stresses. “The demand for MRO centers certified by CAAC and FAA for narrowbodies will grow. We believe that the geographic location of Belinco, with the plans of expanding Sanxia airport in Yichang, will bring more business to us.”
Belinco has 174 managerial and technical staff, among whom are two IAI station experts and 78 Chinese staff, all with CAAC maintenance licenses. The company has built two aircraft maintenance hangars, an apron and attached building, which occupy 25,000 sq. meters. There are three production slots, capable of delivering 80 aircraft every year.
The painting hangar occupies 9,600 sq. meters and has two slots for accommodating one widebody and one narrowbody. It can maintain constant temperature and moisture, ventilate air and handle waste water, ensuring both work and surrounding environment meet the ISO 14000 and OHSA 18000 standards.
Matalon says the major plan for Belinco’s future is to expand this infrastructure to accommodate maintenance of widebodies.