ST Engineering is expanding its Aerospace MRO presence in the US with the development of a 60,850 sqm airframe MRO complex at the Pensacola International Airport (PNS) in Pensacola, Florida.
The development cost for the MRO complex is estimated at USD 210 million, of which ST Engineering will invest USD 35 million, with the rest to be funded by the City of Pensacola, Escambia County, Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., the State of Florida as well as several other state and federal organisations.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the new facility was signed on 27 October with the City of Pensacola, represented by its Mayor, Ashton Hayward. Under the MOU, ST Engineering and the City of Pensacola will develop the MRO complex, over four years after the formalisation of the agreements.
The design-to-build complex, adjacent to ST Engineering’s newly opened 16,120 sqm MRO facility, will consist of three state-of-the-art widebody aircraft hangars and an administration building.
When completed, it will contribute about 1.5 million labour hours in annual capacity, bringing ST Engineering’s total annual capacity of its Pensacola MRO facility – to be called the Pensacola Aerospace Campus – to 2.1 million labour hours. Since opening in June 2018, the current facility has already redelivered 25 aircraft.
“We are excited to embark on this expansion, with unique financial opportunity via city, county and state support, in conjunction with the Triumph Gulf Coast fund availability,” says Lim Serh Ghee, president, Aerospace of ST Engineering.
“The attractiveness of this investment is further strengthened by the strong eco-system and robust aerospace industry, supported by a ready workforce pool in the Florida panhandle region that we can tap on. We look forward to working as closely as ever with the Mayor’s office and relevant local authorities and organisations to realise this expansion plan.”
Florida has been ranked among the top US states for aerospace industry attractiveness for a number of years, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness Rankings, clinching 6th place in 2017.
To support its growth in Pensacola, ST Engineering is already working with local colleges and schools in Northwest Florida to develop an Airman Academy to develop the next generation of aviation professionals, tapping on the region’s rich pool of highly trained engineering and aviation talent.
ST Engineering currently operates eight operational bases across the US, Asia Pacific and Europe. In the US, it has two other operational bases in Mobile, Alabama, and San Antonio, Texas. The expansion plan in Pensacola, which aligns with the Group’s commitment to invest in its core business, would strengthen ST Engineering’s aerospace network in the US to better serve its growing customer base in the Americas, it adds.