Japanese maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm Jamco was severely impacted by the March tsunami, but plans to re-open its Sendai facility in early October.
The tsunami swept through its office and two hangars at Sendai Airport damaging equipment and leaving tons of debris.
Jamco cleared the debris soon after the tsunami and then restored water and low-voltage power to the facility in June, but it only restored high voltage electricity - needed for equipment - in mid-July, says Jamco executive VP, Yoshihisa Suzuki.
“The tools and equipment need to be replaced and that will be completed in mid-September,” he says, adding that Jamco will need to get certification from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau to restart. The aim is to restart operations on Oct. 1, he says.
Jamco maintains aircraft such as Beechcraft King Airs andturboprops. Besides supporting general aviation operators, Jamco’s main customers at Sendai are the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and Japan Coast Guard (JCB).
Suzuki says there were 12 aircraft at Jamco when the tsunami struck on March 11 and all were destroyed except for one JCB Bombardier turboprop, which was able to float, says Suzuki.
Even though the March disaster showed how vulnerable Sendai Airport is, Suzuki says there are no immediate government plans to build a wall to keep out future tsunamis. “It is very tough. It is almost impossible to protect the facility from tsunamis” because it is in a low lying area, he says.
Suzuki says none of Jamco’s aircraft maintenance records at Sendai were damaged because they were on the second-floor of the office building. The tsunami waters only reached the ground floor. He also says Jamco is continuing to serve its customers by transferring aircraft maintenance work to its other MRO facilities in Japan.