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LTP breaks ground on its main hangar’s expansion

Hangar expansion project to make room for second A380 line and new B777 capability

At the start of the year, Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP), broke ground for its main hangar’s expansion. The event signifies a major step in the company’s ongoing efforts to widen its expertise, involving the construction of a second A380 bay, and the build-up of a new, Boeing 777 base maintenance capability.

“We are excited about this project, because once done, we’ll be able to increase our yearly capacity by 200,000 manhours,” says Sascha Leitner, Head of Strategy and Corporate Projects. “Not only will the hangar be A380 and B777 capable, we’re building flexible, multi-aircraft bays, which will allow us to adjust according to different aircraft types and market requirements.”

This key development changes the façade of LTP’s main hangar. Presently, it fits 4 widebody aircraft at the same time. When the hangar opens in November, it will have two of its bays (Bay 2 and Bay 3) extended out to fit the A380, and another widebody for heavy maintenance events. The extension is in parallel with the existing A380 hangar, sitting at the main hangar’s left, when facing the facility from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport runway.

Built in two stages
Angela Green, who serves as the hangar expansion’s project manager, was brought in after her successful project with Lufthansa Technik Malta. According to Angela, the construction will be conducted in two phases: first is the clearing and digging out of concrete foundations for additional hangar space and new door rails, before the second phase, which is where the actual heavy steel construction begins.

A total of 126 x 24 meters will be utilized from the apron area. To make room for that amount of space, will affect aircraft movements and daily operations. Therefore, before starting the heavy construction, a change in the aircraft parking layout, towing lines and relocation of several offices was necessary to keep any operational impact at a minimum.

Having identified the necessary space required to fit, for example, an A380 and another widebody in Bay 3, settles the need for additional floor space. However, additional “airspace” is also required. To solve this, the extension’s roof will be raised above the original hangar roof. With over 30 meters in height, this ensures the A380’s tail stays well within the extension’s enclosure, even if the plane is jacked.

Sustainable and flexible multi-aircraft bays
A number of support structures such as mezzanines, aircraft docking and linking bridges, will be built to provide increased accessibility to the planes’ fuselage. To make sure the structure is built sustainably, Bay 3’s docking system will be designed so that the servicing of future aircraft types such as the Boeing 777-9X, B787 and Airbus A350 will be possible.

Offices and direct access to backshops will also be constructed, with efficiency and proximity to the aircraft in mind. Certifying staff, engineers, planners, tool room and other support personnel are required to undergo additional theoretical, familiarization and practical trainings to make certain that they are licensed and prepared for the increased capabilities.

Strong expertise and faster turnaround times
LTP’s expertise has grown significantly since its first A380 hangar opened in 2012. Prior to its hangar expansion project, it has gained the C4 (6-year check) approval from the CASA and EASA. To date, very few MROs in the world are already capable of maintaining the A380. The C4, its biggest check is even fewer.

“LTP has built up a wide range of capabilities for the A380, from cabin reconfiguration, to wing-rib modification as well as C1, C2, and C4-checks,” says Marek Wernicke Senior Vice President for Base Maintenance at LTP. “At present, we have concluded over ten C1 and C2-checks, two C4-checks, and various cabin and wing-rib modifications. These events have strengthened our expertise and improved our turnaround times.”

Growing customer base
Previously, Qantas and Air France have flown their A380s to Manila for C-checks and modifications. To add to its portfolio, LTP welcomes its first Asian A380 customer, South Korea’s Asiana Airlines. The 3-year agreement which was signed in January includes Asiana’s two A380s, which will be in LTP starting 2016.

By that time, LTP will have two A380s undergoing maintenance checks side by side. It’s double the capacity, for an aircraft that’s twice the regular widebody’s size. In order to stay competitive, LTP constantly improves its organization, growing its customer base in tandem with the demands of a constantly evolving market.

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Featured on Technilink magazine
1st-2nd Quarter 2015
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Left to right: Ruel Palanca, former Employees Council Chairman; Edison Que, SVP and Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Finance Officer; Marek Wernicke, SVP Base Maintenance, Dr. Burkhard Andrich, President and CEO; Sascha Leitner, AVP Strategy and Corporate Projects.

Computer generated perspective of the finished widebody hangar

LTP welcomes its first Asian A380 customer, South Korea’s Asiana Airlines. The 3-year agreement which was signed in March includes Asiana’s two A380s, which will be in LTP starting 2016.

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