RIONEGRO, Colombia, July 11, 2013 – The Colombian Air Force will feature two 737-400 aircraft customized by aerospace leader AAR (NYSE: AIR) as a marquee attraction of the F-AIR Colombia 2013 aviation show.
The F-AIR show, from July 11-14 at José María Córdova International Airport near Medellín, is expected to draw representatives from 15 air forces, 25 countries and 200 companies. They will have the opportunity to view the two aircraft that AAR procured and then converted with the help of subcontractor PEMCO World Air Services. One was converted to a freighter-only configuration and the other from a passenger configuration into a combination passenger/freighter (combi), with flexibility for carrying additional troops.
The completion of the project for the Colombian Air Force, Fuerza Aerea Colombiana (FAC), demonstrates AAR’s diverse capabilities and resources, which the Company taps to provide tailored solutions for commercial and defense customers. This marked the first time AAR has supplied aircraft and major equipment for Colombia’s Air Force.
“Eight AAR business units were involved in the successful delivery of these two aircraft, with work coordinated and completed in multiple cities and countries,” said Donald J. Wetekam, Senior Vice President of Government and Defense Business Development for AAR. “With this challenge completed, we look forward to implementing more of these cost-effective, custom solutions for customers in Central and South America.”
The project, starting with procurement of the aircraft, demanded keen attention to detail. AAR installed the highest-rated engines, capable of lifting a cargo-laden aircraft off the ground at high elevation. AAR’s Nordisk subsidiary designed, certified and delivered seat pallets as well as commercial cargo pallets. The Company repaired landing gear, reconfigured interior galleys, custom-painted the aircraft, supplied parts, performed maintenance checks and inspections and provided three training courses.
AAR is an industry leader in provisioning, maintaining and modifying the 737, an aircraft with a service life of 50-plus years, low operating cost and high mission capabilities for governments, which confer advantages over the acquisition of new commercial or military transport aircraft. The FAC project was based on a procurement and conversion program AAR developed for the U.S. government.
“Extending these capabilities to the Colombian Air Force demonstrated all that AAR can offer,” said Wetekam. “This project required an innovative spirit and the resources of an experienced international enterprise such as AAR. We are pleased to be able to assist the FAC in meeting their evolving defense needs.”
AAR is a global aerospace and defense contractor that employs more than 6,000 people in 17 countries. Based in Wood Dale, Illinois, AAR supports commercial, government and defense customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Technology Products. AAR’s services include inventory management and parts distribution; aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul; and expeditionary airlift. AAR’s products include cargo systems and containers; mobility systems and shelters; advanced aerostructures; and command and control systems. More information can be found at www.aarcorp.com.