Bombardier has announced the inauguration of its expanded London Biggin Hill Service Centre, described as its “beacon in Europe” with nearly 250,000 square feet and capacity for up to 22 aircraft.

The suite of new maintenance and modification capabilities and full-service interior finishing capacity will support the OEM’s family of Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft.

The facility is one of five of the large Bombardier sites outside the US (the others being Berlin, Singapore, Tianjin, and Melbourne).

‘Bringing our jets home’

Jean Christophe Gallagher, Bombardier’s executive vice president for services and support and corporate strategy, said the Biggin Hill facility was part of the company’s strategy of “bringing our jets home from all over Europe, Africa and the Middle East”.

Biggin Hill Service Centre is the largest tenant at the London Biggin Hill Airport, providing customers with heavy maintenance capabilities, wheel and battery shops, a component paint shop and interior finishing.

The new hangar has transformed from eight to 22 service bays, increasing on-site capacity to accommodate an array of aircraft, including up to 14 Global 7500s at one time.

Largest MRO in the UK

“Our mission is to grow to a $2bn business by revenue by 2025. We are currently at $1.5bn,” said the Bombardier EVP.

“The facility is the largest MRO in the UK today for business aviation.

“The European market is a very important one for Bombardier and this expansion perfectly underscores our ongoing commitment to the region, allowing us to be closer to our customers and offering them even more world-class services and support.”

Originally inaugurated in 2017, the London Biggin Hill Service Centre expansion will bring the facility’s workforce to more than 250 employees, with the expectation to grow this number to 350.

The facility has secured approvals from 20 regulators worldwide, including the UK CAA, EASA and FAA.

Expansion plans

Speaking at the inauguration, Gallagher hinted at further expansion by Bombardier – which has a $15bn aircraft order backlog – in the MRO sector. “There are key markets where we have only made modest investments,” he said. “You could draw a conclusion that there are more things to do in the Middle East, and I’m going to leave it at that.”

Robert Walters, commercial director of Biggin Hill Airport, added: “London Biggin Hill Airport is in a strategic location for business aviation operators – and we are thrilled that Bombardier is committed to its long-term relationship here.

“Bombardier has been a tremendous collaborator and we will continue to work closely together as a leading centre for aviation technology and innovation and as a catalyst for business aviation growth in the region.”

Sustainability and apprenticeships

Bombardier says sustainability will feature front and centre at the new facility, with the installation of solar panels on the roof next year set to provide the majority of the building’s energy needs.

The OEM is also supporting the future workforce by fostering the development of highly skilled technicians at the site. Bombardier has a history with apprenticeship programmes and has worked with UK training provider Marshall Centre in the development of its 36-month programme.
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