Image courtesy of Leonardo
Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport in Japan is set to host a Leonardo hangar. The Italian manufacturer said Monday it signed a service center agreement with Shizuoka Air Commuter Corporation (SACC) of Japan to build a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility.
According to Leonardo, the MRO center would support the AW109 and AW139 series of aircraft. The hangar should be completed this year, with operational readiness in the first half of 2019. Initially, the center would have an annual capacity of up to 24 units, but could grow based on market demand, Leonardo said.
This center is set to be the first service center in Japan ranked “excellent” under Leonardo guidelines. The ranking is assigned to selected service centers that are focused on maintaining third party fleets and having the largest scope of service capabilities.
Leonardo said it hopes to establish at least one excellent-ranked center in all strategic markets. In total, Leonardo has more than 100 helicopter service and maintenance centers, worldwide.
The manufacturer’s region business headquarters are based in Tokyo, and have been since 2008. More than 120 helicopters are in service in Japan.
“The Japanese turbine helicopter market shows significant potential in the next few decades to replace ageing fleets with modern technology and up to 30 new units could enter the market every year,” Leonardo said.