KLM’s UK Engineering hub has marked a ground-breaking ceremony with the official construction of a £7 million aircraft maintenance hangar and workshop at Norwich Airport.
Due to be completed in August 2020, the facilities establish the airport’s reputation as a centre of excellence in the MRO aviation sector.
The hub provides KLM UK Engineering, which employs 390 staff at the airport, with additional capacity to provide high-quality aircraft maintenance and repair services to customers worldwide.
Norwich Airport is owned and operated by Regional & City Airports (RCA), which owns and operates the airport is investing £7 million pounds in the project.
The investment is part of RCA’s vision to help smaller regional airports develop through effective management and collaboration, enabling them to benefit from economies of scale and sharing of best practice traditionally seen on larger hub airports.
Norwich Airport MD Richard Pace said: “This is a great milestone and is the next step in our aspirations to make Norwich a world-class centre of excellence for aviation MRO.
“KLM UK Engineering is a major employer locally, with hundreds of skilled staff, and the new hangar and workshop facilities will be a superb and much-needed asset.
“Our economic input is already a proud one here at Norwich Airport; we have 274 staff and support, directly and indirectly, 1,240 jobs, with approximately £70 million contributed to the local economy.”
Rigby Real Estate, the group’s property division, is managing the project, with a 54,000 square ft hangar and 15,500 square ft workshop.
MJS, a regional contractor in East Anglia, has been appointed as the construction company.
Peter van der Horst, MD at KLM UK Engineering, said: “I am delighted to be breaking ground on our hangar project, especially today as it is a very significant week for the AFIKLM E&M brand, with all areas celebrating the KLM 100 Years.
“We will be celebrating both these significant milestones with our team in Norwich and look forward to the building of these great new facilities.”
KLM UK Engineering also delivers aircraft engineering apprenticeships and training through its technical training college located in the neighbouring International Aviation Academy Norwich.
Headquartered at Norwich, where it has operated for 40-plus years, KLM UK Engineering currently has five fully equipped heavy maintenance bays across three hangars at the airport.
The new hangar gives Satys Air Livery UK the opportunity to take on the hangar vacated by KLM UK Engineering, consolidating Norwich as the head office of Aftermarket and VIP Painting Division of the Satys Group and the largest place in Europe for repainting narrow body aircraft.