MRO Management

“World class with a sense of pride”: Bombardier inaugurates expanded 250,000sq ft London Biggin Hill Service Centre

Bombardier’s expanded London Biggin Hill Service Centre, business aviation MRO facility

Bombardier has officially inaugurated the largest MRO facility for business aviation in the UK.

The company’s expanded London Biggin Hill Service Centre now encompasses nearly 250,000sq ft (approximately 23,225sq m) and has 22 service bays – and is already completely full, according to Jean-Christophe Gallagher, executive vice president, services and support, and corporate strategy at Bombardier. He was speaking to the media today (30 November) ahead of the ribbon cutting event to mark the facility’s inauguration.

The above video offers an inside look at the expanded London Biggin Hill Service Centre 

The new facility is nearly four times the size of Bombardier’s previous space at London Biggin Hill Airport. Gallagher said it was necessary to build so big because the company “has been delivering bigger aircraft, and this requires a lot of space”.

The opening is also part of Bombardier’s wider strategy to take a larger share of the business aviation MRO market. For the Bombardier global fleet, Gallagher said the company currently had a 40 per cent share in the worldwide aftermarket (which is worth US$4 billion annually) with plans to increase this to 50 per cent in the near future.

As a result, Bombardier has been growing its worldwide customer service network, and the newly-enhanced London Biggin Hill Service Centre is the latest opening as part of that strategy. A suite of new maintenance and modification capabilities and full-service interior finishing capacity for Bombardier’s family of Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft has been added.

“Customers need to turn around maintenance events as fast as possible, and this is why people want to use OEM facilities for this – we have the knowledge and the manpower,” said Gallagher.

Bombardier’s London Biggin Hill Service Centre is the largest tenant at the London Biggin Hill Airport. The facility provides business aviation customers with complete heavy maintenance capabilities, wheel and battery shops, and a component paint shop, among other capabilities. 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 7500 aircraft at one time – as well as Bombardier’s newly launched Global 8000 business jet when it enters into service in 2025.

“With the expansion of the London Biggin Hill Service Centre, we are taking another step in showcasing our unwavering commitment to our European customers with industry-leading services on a global scale – OEM expertise that customers demand and expect from Bombardier,” said Gallagher. “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.”

The London Biggin Hill Service Centre was originally inaugurated in 2017. The expansion brings the facility’s workforce to more than 250 employees, with Bombardier expecting to grow this number given increasing demand for support.

Over time, Bombardier said it had developed a successful collaboration with London Biggin Hill Airport, which has helped boost local employment and increase supply chain activities.

“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,” said Robert Walters, commercial director of Biggin Hill Airport. “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.”

Bombardier has also put a focus on environmental sustainability in the design, construction and operation of the facility, with key projects including the installation of solar panels and electrical charging stations on site.

Bombardier also announced JETEX as its preferred FBO provider at the London Biggin Hill Service Centre. JETEX will offer customers concierge services onsite, extending Bombardier’s customer service offerings.

Creating a strong aerospace pipeline in the region to foster the development of highly skilled technicians at the site is also paramount in the creation of the project, according to Gallagher. To that end, Bombardier has worked with UK training company Marshall Centre in the development of a 36-month apprenticeship programme, “providing an important conduit for impactful, high-paying aerospace jobs in the region”. There are 17 apprentices in the programme currently.

“This is a world-class facility, and you can sense the pride that exists in these hangars as you walk around,” concluded Gallagher.

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