LOTAMS Says Coronavirus Won’t Hinder Plans for New Maintenance Base

Credit: LOTAMS

LOT Aircraft Maintenance Services (LOTAMS) is staying committed to its plans to construct a new aircraft maintenance base at Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport in Poland, despite widespread effects of the novel coronavirus on the MRO industry. While planning and construction work is still taking place, LOTAMS says “it will be necessary to introduce optimization processes and savings” while maintaining staff and service capabilities.

The MRO says it is still receiving inquiries for service of widebody passenger aircraft in 2021-22 and since the base will be “a tailor-made product adapted to support modern aircraft models,” it will be well positioned when airlines resume flight operations because it expects them to strategically select newer-generation aircraft that are less costly to maintain.

LOTAMS and Polish Aviation Group initially announced plans for the base in October 2019, stating that the facility will be one of the “largest and ultra-modern aircraft maintenance bases in Europe.” The planned facility will consist of three hangars for aircraft MRO and one hangar for aircraft painting. LOTAMS says the base will be able to perform maintenance on four widebodies and five narrowbodies simultaneously, or up to 15 narrowbodies or 20 regional aircraft.

The base will also feature workshop, warehouse, technical, social and office facilities. LOTAMS plans to create an assortment of departments to support the base’s maintenance activities, including engineering, logistics, NDT testing and component services. It also plans to hire 1,500 staff at the base within the next 10 years.

According to LOTAMS, the first phase of construction is “at an advanced stage” and it expects to open the facility in 2022. It plans to invest approximately 150 million PLN$ (approximately $36 million) in the first stage of construction and hire more than 300 employees. The total planned investment is 500 million PLN$ (more than $120 million).

During the coronavirus crisis, LOTAMS has taken a number of preventive measures to ensure employee safety. These include regular disinfection of aircraft, mandatory temperature checks for people entering facilities, use of personal protective equipment, adjustment of employee schedules to reduce overlap and increasing remote work when possible.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.