Etihad, ASI Partner For MRO Facility Extension Project

The expansion project is expected to finish by the end of 2023. 

Credit: Aircraft Support Industries

Etihad Engineering has partnered with Aircraft Support Industries (ASI), a specialist in the design and development of aircraft maintenance infrastructure, for the expansion of its aircraft maintenance facility in Abu Dhabi. 

In February, at the MRO Middle East event, the company unveiled its plan to extend the capacity of its aircraft maintenance facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport.

As part of the expansion project, the MRO specialist is adding approximately 540,000 ft.2 of incremental space to its current facility.

Additionally, it is also constructing two new widebody bays, which will be dedicated to the Boeing 777-300ER passenger-to-freighter conversions, as previously reported by Aviation Week.

The collaboration marks the continuation of the successful partnership between Etihad engineering and ASI, who have previously worked together on the construction of Hangar 6, Etihad Engineering’s maintenance existing facility. 

“Our extensive experience in aircraft hangar design and construction, combined with our advanced engineering capabilities, will help Etihad Engineering achieve its expansion goals," says Mark Langbein, managing director at ASI.

Under the expansion project, the MRO provider is adding a new widebody bay (6D) to its Hangar 6, which the company says will increase its capacity to accommodate up to four Airbus A380s simultaneously.

Additionally, ASI will construct a new hangar, Hangar 7, utilizing its proprietary structural system called ‘Stressed Arch’. 

Richard Gibbons, business development director at ASI, explains to Aviation Week that the stressed arch system is a light weighted and post-tensioned steel building system that uses considerably fewer steel than a conventional building made from the alloy.

“The reduced amount of steel is very impactful in terms of budget with the current global steel price,” he says. “The building profile also uses less cladding than a conventional steel hangar. Thus, it is very cost-effective and quick to construct. That is one of the reasons why Etihad chose to work with us.” 

Furthermore, Gibbons points out that ASI is committed to minimizing the environmental impact of their construction projects. “We focus on developing sustainable solutions for sourcing construction materials. For this project, we are using less steel than conventional buildings and we aim to use recyclable materials. We are also incorporating LED lighting and will use appropriate insulation to conserve energy,” he explains. 

The expansion project is expected to create new job opportunities and boost the local economy. With the addition of new facilities and the recovery of the aviation industry, Etihad Engineering will be able to better serve a larger number of aircraft and customers from around the world, says Abdul Khaliq Saeed, CEO of Etihad Engineering. 

Etihad Engineering has been consistently expanding its capabilities and footprint in order to become a one-stop MRO provider from its UAE base.

In February, at Aviation Week's MRO Middle East event in Dubai, the MRO provider made several announcements, including the agreement with Collins Aerospace to become the new home for Collins Aerospace's Nacelle MRO business. Additionally, the company has also signed an agreement with Acme to become an authorized service center for Acme batteries in the region.

Prachi Patel

Prachi Patel is a London-based Associate Editor for Aviation Week's MRO editorial team. She writes news articles and designs data infographics for Aviation Week's commercial aftermarket output.