[HD videos below] Kazakhstan’s Air Astana has opened a new
internationally approved engineering facility in Almaty.
The facility is equipped to handle
non-destructive testing and repairs to wheels, batteries and
aircraft structures. Air Astana’s investment in the facility is
expected to save it over US$1 million in the first year, as it
becomes independent of foreign maintenance service providers.
The facility is a milestone in Air Astana’s plan
to create a leading aircraft maintenance centre serving Central
Asia and the CIS. This process will see the airline progressively
upgrading its engineering capabilities to the point where it will
be able to undertake complex aircraft maintenance services
(C-checks) on both its own aircraft and those of other carriers by
the end of 2012.
Brake and composite material shops, as well as
structural maintenance workshops will be ready for certification
by the European Aviation Safety Authorities (EASA) by the end of
2011. The airline is additionally investigating the possibility of
creating calibration and hydrostatic laboratories.
Air Astana and the government of Kazakhstan are committed to
seeing the country become the region’s focal point for
aeronautical engineering excellence, both in terms of the
availability of highly qualified manpower resources and
international standard MRO capabilities,” said
President of Air Astana. “The opening of Air Astana’s new
engineering facility in Almaty represents a major step
towards reaching this national goal.”
Air Astana is a full
member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and
the only airline in Kazakhstan certified to perform aircraft
maintenance to European standard EASA/Part 145.
currently operates a fleet of 24 aircraft comprising two Boeing
767-300, four Boeing 757-200, ten Airbus A321/A320/A319, two Embraer E190 and six Fokker 50. The airline serves 23 domestic and
31 international destinations.