As part of our expanding European aviation coverage, I met up with AMT’s International Correspondent Marino Boric and we recently visited two very interesting yet different types of aircraft maintenance organizations as we wind our way toward France and the Paris Airshow.
Our first stop was the AFI KLM Engineering and Maintenance facility at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands. Our tour began at the engine overhaul facility with a primary focus on how the GEnx overhaul and maintenance activities have been integrated into the shop.
A few other support shops were visited including the composite repair shop where the crew proudly explained (and showed us photos of) a recent repair to the underside of the fuselage on a Boeing 787. Having done composite repair in the past I found it to be pretty cool.
Our day at Schiphol concluded with an invitation to visit with Ton Dortmans, executive vice president of KLM Engineering and Maintenance, where he provided some of his views of the MRO business in Europe. Being back at Schiphol Oost was like a homecoming for me as I’d been there many times during my airline career.
Our next stop was the Textron Aviation facility in Dusseldorf, Germany, where General Manager Stephanie Kietzmann took time out of her busy schedule to host us. We toured two hangars full of Cessna and Hawker business jets undergoing any number of routine maintenance visits and special projects. A highlight was a visit to the Textron/Air Berlin joint training academy for students preparing for apprentice positions and maintenance careers with both companies. It was clear that Stephanie was very proud of this initiative.
Watch for feature articles about these visits in future issues of Aircraft Maintenance Technology – AMT Magazine. Now it’s off to the 52nd Paris International Airshow at Le Bourget.