New maintenance hangar opens at Prague Airport

In the long run, the airport aims to be a major repair center for Europe

Czech Airlines Technics (CSAT), a subsidiary of the airport operating firm Prague Airport (Letiště Praha), officially launched another season of aircraft maintenance and repair. A second hangar for line maintenance is newly available at Václav Havel Airport Prague this year.

Thanks to the construction of a space opposite the existing Hangar F, capacity has also been increased for heavy maintenance of aircraft. In the future, the company plans to invest further in new space, purchase equipment and certify other types of aircraft.

Last year, over 120 inspections were carried out for several international airlines.

“The company is following the long-term strategy we have set up to focus on developing all four major service divisions — heavy maintenance, line maintenance, component maintenance and landing gear maintenance. Both the economic results and the interest in high-quality airline services confirm that the right direction has been set.

Investments in the construction of a new hangar, special machinery, IT technology, as well as equipment for additional heavy maintenance stands are key to increasing competitiveness in the aircraft maintenance market,” Václav Řehoř, chairman of the board of directors of Prague Airport, said in a press release.

“Over the years, we have succeeded in transforming the company into a fully independent organization that offers comprehensive services to a wide range of major customers,” he added.

For line maintenance, the company decided to build a new hangar on the airport premises in the immediate vicinity of the existing one. This hangar is primarily designed to perform a lower degree aircraft maintenance.

It can handle one aircraft at a time of models such as Boeing 737, Airbus A320 family or ATR. The construction of the new hangar, known as Hangar S, began in September 2017 and was completed in the spring of this year. After approval for the operation by the Civil Aviation Authority (ÚCL), the new hangar was gradually put into operation. During the difficult summer season, it successfully passed its test run.

“We are trying to develop line maintenance for aircraft in the Czech Republic, but also in Slovakia where we also operate. At the Prague airport, we provide our services to more than 85 percent of airlines, and the importance of this segment for CSAT is confirmed by the newly opened hangar. These services are provided for a wide portfolio of customers from regular and irregular flights to government flights. In this segment, we also take care of many types of aircraft in both narrow- and wide-body,” Pavel Haleš, chairman of the board of directors of Czech Airlines Technics, said.

“We also offer our customers an open station with our mechanics outside of the Czech Republic or an ‘on-wing’ team that is ready to fly to anywhere in the world and solve any technical problem on the plane,” Haleš added.

Thanks to relocating the line maintenance service, aircraft maintenance capacity, which accounts for nearly half of Czech Airlines Technics’s sales, could be expanded. Hangar F, which opened in the 1960s, is currently designated for five standard heavy maintenance lines and minor maintenance is underway on the sixth line.

“The number of heavy maintenance lines has spread from three lines to the current five over the last four years. Despite this increase, the hangar's capacity is almost full up for a few years in advance. In the long run, we are planning to build another hangar to carry out heavy maintenance for both the narrow- and wide-body aircraft,” Haleš said.

The division pf maintenance between the two hangars is both process- and time-efficient. Last year, CSAT personnel performed over 120 heavy maintenance tasks on B737, A320 Family and ATR aircraft, with a significant part of these orders being made for foreign customers.

Heavy maintenance is mainly done during the winter months when the use of machinery is lower than during the summer season. The heavy maintenance season runs from the beginning of October until the end of April.

For line maintenance, the aircraft is completely checked, the operating fluids are added, minor faults are fixed, and the individual parts of the aircraft are inspected to assess whether the aircraft is in order and is fit for the next flight.

Heavy maintenance sees more demanding repairs, modification of aircraft systems and structures, engine replacement, landing gear replacement and modification of cabin interiors.

Czech Airlines Technics is a subsidiary of the Prague Airport Group. It mainly focuses on aircraft maintenance. In 2018, the company also entered the market for the sale of spare parts. A substantial part of orders are for foreign customers.

The most important CSAT customers include Transavia Airlines, Finnair, Germania, České aerolinie (Czech Airlines), Travel Service, NEOS and others. Beyond routine maintenance, the CSAT service portfolio includes modifications, structural repairs, engine replacement, replacement and repair of landing gear and other aircraft components. For many revisions, it works directly with manufacturers.

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