Despite huge problems for Malaysia’s flag carrier in recent years, the country remains committed to its goal of becoming Southeast Asia’s leading nation for aerospace by 2030.
This will mean significant investment into the country’s manufacturing, engineering and aftermarket capabilities, from the state, the private sector and abroad.
At this week’s Paris air show Malaysia Airport Holdings (MAHB) signed a preliminary deal with South Korea’s Gyeongnam Techno Park (GNTP) to develop the Subang Aerotech Park, which will house manufacturing and maintenance sites for aero structures and components.
Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund is the biggest shareholder in Kuala Lumpur-listed MAHB, while Gyeongnam in South Korea aims to house 10 aerospace companies by 2020 and become a production hub for Northeast Asia.
MAHB also agreed a memorandum of understanding with Danish company Skyways Technics to facilitate the latter’s expansion at Subang and Kuala Lumpur International airports.
Skyways focuses on MRO of ATR turboprops, of which Malaysia Airlines subsidiary Firefly operates about 20 aircraft.
To help staff the new facilities at Subang, Malaysia’s trade ministry has also announced a letter of intent between Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Center (AMIC), Airbus and France’s Ministry of National Education.
The three parties have agreed to collaborate in developing new training methods for aerospace engineers and blue-collar workers in Malaysia.
New training techniques will include virtual reality, augmented reality, computer-based software, advanced devices and specialised tools.
AMIC is a public-private research partnership between the Malaysian government and aerospace companies including Airbus and Rolls-Royce.
“The increase in demand for the Malaysian aerospace industry to cater to the growing global market has prompted us to accelerate our capabilities in order to remain competitive,” says Shamsul Samah, head of the National Aerospace Industry Coordinating Office.