Basel/Switzerland, May 16, 2008 – At today’s celebration, Jet Aviation inaugurated one of the largest hangars in Europe for the completion of wide body aircraft. Located at Basel’s EuroAirport, the new 9,600-square-meter (103,333 square-foot) wide-body hangar is large enough to house an Airbus A380 and a Boeing 747-8 simultaneously, as well as a number of mid-size aircraft. With a total investment of CHF 65,0 million, the hangar was completed within a record time of only seven months.
“The additional capacity will help us satisfy the growing demand for premium completion services. It also will strengthen our leading position in Europe and allows us to have more flexibility in the planning of large completions projects,” explains Peter G. Edwards, CEO of the Jet Aviation Group. Jet Aviation invested roughly CHF 65,0 million into the new state-of-the art wide-body hangar which at 9,600 sq m (103,333 sq ft) can accommodate an Airbus A380 and a Boeing 747-8 simultaneously along with three mid-size aircraft. The hangar was completed in a record time of only seven months. In the future, all wide body aircraft will be outfitted or refurbished in the new hangar while the company’s other eight hangars will be primarily dedicated to maintenance services. The growth of Jet Aviation at EuroAirport and the hiring of 350 to 400 new people will contribute significantly to strengthening the tri-national business community. The current headcount is close to 1,700 employees.
“Finishing the wide-body hangar in such a short period of time was an outstanding achievement and resulted from the extraordinary effort and the dedication of all involved parties,” says André Wall, COO of Jet Aviation in EMEA & Asia. He adds, “The success of the entire project was only possible because of the excellent cooperation with the neighboring communities and the full support we received by the customs authorities. At the same time, the development of the South Zone by the EuroAirport was moved quickly.” Jürg Rämi, CEO at EuroAirport confirms, “Indeed, our schedule was ambitious but we still managed to beat our timetable for the south zone by three months. The new hangar certainly will make our airport location even more attractive and will establish the EuroAirport as a worldwide competency center for aircraft completions, refurbishment and maintenance.”
Swiss firm Losinger Construction managed the project and its aggressive timeframe, reaching major milestones on schedule. Jet Aviation contracted Losinger last November and excavation work was already completed the same month. Building started in earnest in December and was finished within a month. On March 30, the entire 9,000 sq m (96,875 sq ft) roof, which weighed more than 1,500 tons, was lifted in place, and two weeks later the doors were installed. To ensure customer’s aircraft are totally protected, final tests involved flooding the hangar and checking the sophisticated fire detection and prevention systems, said to be the best in the world today.
The decision by EuroAirport to develop the airport’s South Zone made it possible for Jet Aviation to realize this large project. Excavation of the largest construction site in the Alsace region in 35 years at the new zone “6bis” at EuroAirport started in September 2007. Home of one of the largest completions hangars in Europe, the new area eventually will house sheet metal, composite, avionics and component repair shops, as well as a part of the company’s engineering and interior design departments, administrative and client offices and will add a total of 18,900 sq m (203,437 sq ft) to Jet Aviation’s facility in Basel.
The wide-body hangar is an important milestone in the largest expansion of Jet Aviation Basel in its 40-plus year history. On any given day, the facility at EuroAirport hosts an average of more than 60 head-of-state or corporate aircraft for completions, refurbishment, painting or maintenance services. Jet Aviation Basel already began the VVIP-configuration of a green Airbus A340-600 aircraft in the new wide-body hangar which will be delivered to the client in mid-2009.
Jet Aviation Basel is a world-renowned completion center and will employ 1,860 professionals by year end and has opened a new wide-body completions hangar at the south zone of the airport large enough to accommodate an A380 and a Boeing 747-8. The facility has in-house design and engineering departments, along with on-site cabinetry, upholstery, fiberglass and paint shops. The facility is capable of outfitting jets as large as an Airbus A380 or the Boeing 747-400 series and has already completed several Airbus 319ACJ, A320 and Boeing B737, B757, B767 and B747-400 aircraft. Jet Aviation Basel also provides aircraft maintenance and repair services to a wide variety of business jets. It is a factory approved service center by Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault, and Gulfstream. The location also holds a jet aircraft repair station rating by the FAA #QV1Y440K, and the EASA #CH.145.0232 in addition to approval certificates of 21 other national aviation authorities.
Jet Aviation was founded in Switzerland in 1967 and is one of the leading business aviation services companies in the world. Close to 5,100 employees cater to client needs from over 20 airport facilities throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America. The company provides maintenance, completions and refurbishment, engineering, fixed base operations, along with aircraft management, charter services, aircraft sales and personnel services. Jet Aviation's European and U.S. aircraft management and charter divisions jointly operate a fleet of more than 200 aircraft and provided over 65,000 hours in global flight operations in 2007. For more information, please visit www.jetaviation.com.