Leonardo partners with SACC to open Japanese MRO base
Italian helicopter maker Leonardo is partnering with Shizuoka Air Commuter Corporation (SACC) to setup a maintenance repair, and overhaul (MRO) base at Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport for Leonardo helicopters.
The base will support two Leonardo helicopter models, the AW109 and the AW139, and will service up to 24 helicopters a year. Leonardo says it will consider expanding the capacity if regional demand rises.
SACC is a Japanese helicopter services provider and will oversee the services on all Leonardo helicopters at the base.
The two companies signed a service-centre agreement which will see construction of a new dedicated hangar being completed in 2018 and becoming operational by Spring 2019.
The service centre will be the first in the country to be ranked as “excellent” by Leonardo. This indicates that the centre offers the largest range of services for third-party fleets.
Leonardo in Japan
Leonardo’s regional headquarters in Tokyo was setup in 2008 and has overseen more than 120 helicopters enter service in various missions including emergency medical services, law enforcement, search-and-rescue and firefighting.
The Italian manufacturer is confident in the Japanese market. Japan’s fleet is ageing and Leonardo expects customers to start renewing helicopter fleets with modern alternatives over the next few decades. It estimates that as many as 30 new helicopter units could enter the market each year.
Leonardo has more than 100 helicopter service and maintenance centres globally and aims to have one centre rated excellent in all “strategic markets”.
Singapore airshow 2018
Leonardo announced it is aiming to grow its presence in the Asian Pacific region at the Singapore Airshow yesterday. The manufacturer is targeting government and commercial customers in the region, specifically in the fields of border security, maritime patrol and air-traffic control sectors.
To reach out to these customers, it is displaying its latest technologies and products at the show, including its new air-traffic control systems, radars and identification systems. It is also presenting its AW169, AW189, and AW139 models to the show’s delegates.