GMF to expand business in aircraft spare part engineering

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - PT Garuda Maintenance Facility (GMF) AeroAsia, which has been known to operate only as aircraft maintenance workshop, has succeeded in producing aircraft spare parts.

GMF AeroAsia is an Indonesian company, a member of the state-owned Garuda Indonesia Group, established in 1984 as Garuda Maintenance Facilities Support Center.

Director of Line Operation of GMF AeroAsia Tazar Marta Kurniawan said on the sidelines of Indonesia Engineering Conference and Exhibition (IAECE), here on Wednesday, the company has qualified technicians to develop business in aircraft spare part engineering industry.

"We have for years doing the job of maintenance, but beside maintenance we can do a lot of things here with our existing resources. We could improve the performance of components," Tazar said .

He said GMF already won the "Design Organization Approval" (DOA) and "Part Manufacturing Approval" (PMA), one of the requirements to design and produce spare parts.

"Based on our experience, we could with our technicians fulfill the requirements, design and produce alternative spare parts for aircraft," he said.

He said GMF could produce spare parts more competitive in price and quality that will allow aircraft to operate more effectively as they do not have to waste time in importing spare parts from other countries.

"Normally, the price would be cheaper and the quality is superior adapted to our environment," he said, adding the spare parts could be 60-70 percent cheaper as it had no cost component of importing and it is faster in procurement. How much an airline will lose in potential income if an aircraft was grounded a day waiting for the supply of spare parts, he said.

He said GMF has developed four types of aircraft spare part and the number would be increased to 15 types this year.

He said GMF already have two candidates for business partners -- a company from the United States which will distribute and promote the GMF-made spare parts in the market. "The two companies have agreed to do that for us," he said.

We need to first build up a network for which the company has invited all stakeholders both from universities or other institutions such as the Technology Application and Study Agency (BPPT), and domestic and foreign aircraft maintenance companies.

"In the past we focused only on aircraft maintenance. GMF did not have to bother about design as there is BPPT, and the National Aviation and Aerospace Institute (LAPAN) and the products were audited by the Transport Ministry," he said.

Tazar said GMF would not concentrate only on domestic market but it would expand foothold to regional and international markets.

"Our target is to become one billion company, a compoan y with an income of US$1 trillion," he said.

Meanwhile, head of the sub-directorate of engineering at the Directorate of Aircraft Airworthiness Suharyadi Partodiyono said the government would support the initiative of GMF.

Suharyadi said maintenance of most aircraft is made abroad, therefore, GMF needs to develop itself especially as it already has the FAA certificate that GMF could also serve foreign aircraft.

He said there are always modifications, therefore, aircraft would not continue to be the same in design .

Meanwhile GMF had converted a Fokker F27 passenger aircraft into a cargo plane for Bangladesh, another indication of significant progress in the technical capability of the company.

The conversion of the 30-seat capacity aircraft into a cargo plane with a carrying capacity of 5.5 tons took two months.

Vice President for Engineering Services of GMF Bambang Suryowinarto said GMF has big potential to expand its business.

"Aircraft more than 20 years in age are no longer allowed to fly , but they could continue operation after they are converted into cargo planes. In Indonesia there are many old units of than Boeing 737 aircraft," Bambang said

He said this year GMF would convert two units if grounded passenger aircraft of domestic airlines into cargo planes. (*)