How Travel Restrictions Have Slowed New MRO in Asia

Opening of Spirit Evergreen Aftermarket Solutions in Taiwan.

Credit: Spirit Evergreen Aftermarket Solutions

Quarantines and COVID-19-related travel restrictions have impeded the timeframes for MROs seeking to expand their businesses.

For instance, ST Engineering’s aerospace division is working on how to use addictive manufacturing to redesign and manufacture aftermarket parts, says Jeffrey Lam, president.

The company started research efforts before the pandemic, but “I think there is some way to go on the 3D printing front in terms of material costs and the ability to certify (the parts),” the latter of which was slowed because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, says Lam. “There were a lot of constraints around certification,” but he hopes those will diminish as the aviation industry’s recovery accelerates in Asia.

The new joint venture between Evergreen Aviation Technologies (EGAT) and Spirit AeroSystems in Taiwan was likewise delayed. The JV, Spirit Evergreen Aftermarket Solutions, needed inspectors from the various regulatory agencies—Civil Aviation Administration of China, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), FAA and Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) of Taiwan—to visit it to authorize various parts repair services. Getting all of the regulators to the facility to conduct their audits took a long time because of Taiwan’s seven-day, then reduced three-day quarantine period. “Getting inspectors into the country to do the audit was the most time consuming matter for us,” says Kailash Krishnaswamy, senior vice president of Spirit Aftermarket Services.

Those audits happened in August and SEAS received Taiwan CAA approval on Sept. 23. Krishnaswamy expects FAA and EASA approvals to closely follow.

The joint venture between Spirit AeroSystems and Evergreen Aviation Technologies (EGAT) opened Oct. 3.

Lee Ann Shay

As executive editor of MRO and business aviation, Lee Ann Shay directs Aviation Week's coverage of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), including Inside MRO, and business aviation, including BCA.