While there has been plenty of coverage about Western MRO providers expanding into Southeast Asia, it’s also the case that companies from that region are travelling in the other direction.
One of the biggest, Singapore-based ST Engineering, has just announced a massive expansion to its airframe maintenance facility in Pensacola, Florida.
In June the company opened a $46 million, 173,500 sq. ft. facility at the site, which has overhauled 25 aircraft since launch.
Now, ST Engineering plans to develop a 655,000 sq. ft. facility adjacent to its existing operation, development of which will cost $210 million.
It is the latest company to take advantage of Florida’s attractive environment for aviation aftermarket players, where a combination of a skilled workforce, good airport connections and local authority incentives have created a burgeoning aerospace cluster.
ST engineering will put up only $35 million of the development cost of the new facility, with the rest paid for by the City of Pensacola, Escambia County, Triumph Gulf Coast, the State of Florida and several other state and federal organizations.
“The attractiveness of this investment is further strengthened by the strong eco-system and robust aerospace industry, supported by a ready workforce pool in the Florida panhandle region that we can tap on,” said Lim Ghee, president, aerospace of ST Engineering.
In the US, ST Engineering has two other operational bases in Mobile, Alabama, and San Antonio, Texas.
Another Southeast Asian MRO with a big US presence is Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company, which acquired TIMCO in 2014.
In June 2018 Haeco Americas opened its largest hangar in the US, a 250,000 sq. ft. facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, that simultaneously can house eight narrowbodies or two widebodies and two narrowbodies.