THE Air India’s MRO Facility in the special economic zone (SEZ) of Multi-modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) is set to work at its full potential from next month more than 10 years after its announcement in 2005.
With the entire requisite staff in place, the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility for Air India planes will take up complete check, called as D check in airlines parlance, of Boeing 777-300ER from February 15.
Deputy General Manager (Engineering) and Chief Maintenance Manager (CMM) of the MRO S S Quazi told The Indian Express, “We will have the entire staff of 61service engineers, eight tradesmen and 10 aircraft engineers in place for the D check by then. We have already shortlisted 50 service engineers and we already have 12 working for us at the MRO. The aircraft engineers, who have just retired from Air India services, are undergoing refresher course.”
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The MRO had sought the services of Deccan Charters, a service provider company, for recruitment of staff.
Boeing International had helped set up the 600 crore facility as part of the deal for sale of aircraft to India. It had been hanging fire for many years for various reasons.
The Boeing had opted out of the partnership in operation after a dispute with Air India over the latter seeking concession for its aircraft’s MRO. The other hindrance in its progress was a 500 m stretch of the 2.5-km taxiway from Nagpur Airport. Remaining undone due to agitation by some project evacuees. And after that, it was lack of requisite staff that continued to delay the MRO last year.
“D check is the complete check for aircraft and lasts for 30 days. Once we do that at Nagpur facility, we will have regular inflow of planes for MRO works,” Quazi said.
The first phase check at the facility was done in May last year for Boeing 777-200LR. Subsequently, base transit checks were done for the Haj flights in September. “The second phase check was done earlier this month for the same make of aircraft. The third phase check will be done for Boeing 777-300ER later this month,” Quazi said.
Phase check is a general fitness check of the aircraft. That generally goes on for about a week. The D check is for aircraft that have operated for about 3000 days, which can stretch upto nine years of operation.
“The MRO facility is currently in its first phase of operation, where it will undertake checks for the above mentioned aircraft. In the second phase, it will do checks for A-320 Airbuses. And in the third phase, it will take up MRO for foreign aircraft,” Quazi further said.