US firms plan to set up MRO units in Dubai
Dubai, June 8, 2013
A number of foreign investors, mainly from the US, are in discussions to set up world-class Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) service units at the upcoming Dubai World Central, the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis, said a top official.
Several US companies are looking to take advantage of Dubai’s aviation infrastructure to expand in the Middle East and Africa region and also the Asia Pacific, remarked Rashed Bu Qara’a, the chief operating officer at Dubai Aviation City Corporation.
Bu Qara’a said the UAE owns more than 45 per cent of the GCC fleet . "The MRO facilities in the region are therefore expected to reach capacity very soon and we need to be ready to meet the increasing demand,” he stated.
"The MRO market in the Middle East is expected to be worth $11.2 billion by 2019, sustaining a 5.3 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR)," he said, citing a study by Aero Strategy-OAG Aviation.
Moreover, the global civil aviation MRO supply chain was estimated to be worth $65 billion in 2012, with the MEA and Asia Pacific region collectively accounting for 32 per cent of the market.
"Furthermore, the region’s share of the global civil aviation fleet of around 79,800 aircraft had reached 21 per cent in 2012 and analysts expect this to double by 2020 . The UAE, on the other hand, accounts for more than half of the GCC’s fleet in light of the aggressive expansion drive of the country’s aviation sector," he added.
According to him, the planned Aviation District in the aerotropolis is designed to be the home of the world’s leading MROs looking to benefit from the rapid growth of the industry in the MEA region.
DWC’s strategic location in Dubai enables MROs to reach out to a much wider market base, including the Asia Pacific region, he pointed out.
At the moment, the UAE has two major MROs with a capacity of 13 widebody hangars for aircraft maintenance, covering the full MRO supply chain including Heavy Airframe Maintenance, Engine Overhaul, Component – Maintenance and Line Maintenance.
With its integrated aviation cluster, DWC creates a self-sustainable aviation ecosystem that will help attract the world’s leading business aviation companies.
In line with efforts to create awareness about the strategic importance of the Aviation District, a delegation from DWC recently concluded a roadshow in the US that aimed to open discussions with key industry players and initiate the creation of an integrated MRO Supply Chain at Aviation District, said Bu Qara’a.
The delegation also signed an agreement with the North Texas District Export Council (NTDEC) to facilitate MRO investments by US companies in DWC.
The roadshow included high-level meetings with leading players in component overhaul, line maintenance, avionics overhaul and repair and original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
The DWC delegation also initiated discussions to establish MROs for different purposes ranging from business jet and medical outfit to “built to suit” solutions.
“We are working with an eye on the future, in line with the vision of the government and DWC’s mission. Dubai World Central is destined to be the future hub for business activities, especially with the increasing importance of aviation as a key component in the UAE’s economic growth plan," said Bu Qara’a.
"We therefore need to develop the world’s most attractive hub for key players in the MRO sector. We are confident that leading aerospace companies will find DWC the perfect location for their companies to take advantage of the growing demand for aviation services in the MEA and Asia regions," he noted.
Karen Hart, the chairperson of North Texas DEC, said: “We are impressed by the market demand in the GCC. We believe that there is a good opportunity for our company to expand its business. A new facility in Dubai will not only open for us the GCC markets but also give us access to the Asian markets.”
DWC’s delegation attended the MRO Show Atlanta 2013 and visited Texas, one of the top three US states for the aerospace industry.-TradeArabia News Service