After Russia and The Ukraine, Poland is the most populous nation in Eastern Europe. It make sense that the country’ MRO support is increasing significantly. WZL2 has been doing military aircraft maintenance for decades and got its Part 145 approval to do maintenance on small aircraft in 2005, explains Business Development Director Pawel Lubinksi. Now it is moving into maintenance on larger commercial aircraft.
“The first maintenance was performed on small aircraft like Cirrus, Cessna and Piper, weighing less than 5,700 kilograms or 12,500 pounds,” Lubinksi says. “Since 2010, we have run a service center for Cirrus aircraft and just a month ago we signed a contract with Diamond to run a Diamond Authorized Service Center in our company.”
WZL2 began investing in support of larger aircraft in 2016. It built a hangar with two halls where it can do maintenance on two aircraft up to the size of Boeing 767s or Airbus A310s. One hall is dedicated to maintenance services for civilian passenger and transport aircraft, and the second hall is a modern paint shop, equipped with state-of-art heating, humidification, ventilation and lighting.
The MRO has another hangar for ATR 42s, and has just begun the process of building another hangar that will accommodate up to two Embraer E190s.
The Polish CAA has approved WZL2 for base and line maintenance for 737s, ATR 42s and 72s and Bombardier Dash-8 400s. The MRO has applied for heavy maintenance authority for E170s and E190s and is waiting for decision by the CAA.
WZL2 currently employs over 850 people, of which about 30 mechanics, engineers and logisticians are now devoted to civilian maintenance. “However, these numbers are increasing every month,” Lubinski notes, “Another 20 people work in a workshop that will develop our capability list for components on civilian aircraft.”
Developing this component workshop is a priority. Lubinski believes WZL2 has huge potential in component work because it already produces parts for military aircraft. “We have machines and experienced staff for oxygen systems, fire extinguishing systems, overhauls and wheel repairs, brake systems, batteries and interior components. Some of these components are already listed in our capability list and we can perform restoration and overhaul of components.”
WZL2’s immediate goal is to provide base maintenance. It might eventually offer line maintenance if the economics work out. So for 2019, it plans that new hangar for Embraers, and will try to extend base maintenance for the next types of aircraft. “In principle, we want to have both E-Jets and turboprops,” Lubinski says.