Aquino inaugurates new Airbus A380 hangar


MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said that he envisions the Philippines to become a destination for 10 million tourists by 2016.

He made the remark at the inauguration of the new Airbus A380 maintenance hangar of Lufthansa Technik Philippines at the MacroAsia Special Economic Zone in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.

The new hangar was “not just any hangar but one built to service the Airbus A380″, which is the world’s largest commercial aircraft.

Aquino added that just as the “Airbus A380 was an ambitious project… this hangar is an ambitious (one as well),” adding that such a hangar was necessary in the country “because we want our workforce to be known for their skills in aviation.”

The President boasted that by April, the Philippines will be “one of the few locations around the world that can service such a gigantic aircraft” which will bring in opportunities for Filipinos within the country.

Aquino, together with Department of Transportation and Communication Secretary Mar Roxas, and Secretary Cesar Purisima, attended the inauguration of what Philippine Airlines chairman and CEO Lucio Tan described to be the “first such facility (of its kind) in the Philippines, and only the fourth of its kind in the world.”

The maintenance hangar is the third of its kind in Manila and was a US$30 million investment made by LTP as it sought to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to A380 and in turn not only expand the airline’s capacity but also create some 400 more jobs for the country.

By April 2012, LTP will be making C-checks and cabin modifications for the A380 using the said hangar which is 8,500 square meters large and 35 meters in height.

The hangar, built on a parcel of land which was a parking lot 10 months ago, has enough space for simultaneous checks on one wide body and two narrow body aircraft.

With the expansion into maintenance of the A380 in mind, LTP also had their employees undergo a training specific to the A380 at the Lufthansa Technical Training Philippines in Manila. They also took on several months of on-the-job training on A380 C-checks at Lufthansa Technik in Frankfurt.

Such an expansion, according to Aquino, spoke of Lufthansa’s “confidence on our workers… (and a)  true testament to how far our country has come.”

According to August Wilhelm Henningsen, Lufthansa Technik AG’s chairman of the executive board, the new hangar will help them “keep up with the increasing demand for technical services for long-haul Airbus aircraft, particularly in the Asian market.”

He said that they were confident that the conducive business environment will allow LTP to flourish even more.

Moreover, the hangar will also “reaffirm the Filipino aviation workers’ place among the world’s best and underscores LTP’s long-term plans of operating in the Philippines,” surmised Washington SyCip, chairman of LTP.

He said that he has, “for the past 60 years… been confident of the human resources of our country,” adding that LTP which has “trained thousands of engineers and mechanics… will further provide opportunities to Filipinos.”

LTP, a venture of Lufthansa Technik and MacroAsia Corporation has, for more than a decade, enabled the country to be part of the global aviation map through a mix of Filipino innovation, craftsmanship, and German technology, precision and discipline.

“We can look back with pride to all the successes with this partnership,” said Henningsen.

The company provides comprehensive technical services like lease return checks and cabin modification for the Airbus A330/A340 and A320 families, and by April this year, the A380.

And with some 20 approvals from aviation authorities such as the American FAA and the European EASA, LTP serves 30 overhaul customers including the Philippine Airlines, Lufthansa, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, LAN Chile and AirAsia X.

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  • Anonymous

    how do we create tourist as huge as that….we have so limited airport!!! where do we see new airport constructed? this press release should have basis.

    • Anonymous

      It is achievable if the press and the Filipino crabs will stop spreading bad news about the Philippines all over the world.  You want basis?  Take for example the Bourne Identity shooting.  What does media show?  All the complaints of traffic and loss income. Our local media does not analyze the bonanza that it will create in terms of tourism and future investments. See my point?

      • Anonymous

        the point being is that projection without necessary action is useless, we have been victims of politicians of all the promises. now before any press releases huge infrastructure should be put up!!! 

      • Anonymous

        given this kind of situation that we are experiencing right now, the SC mess, the graft and corruption that is so ingrained to the bones, the PNP that is so corrupt and and so ineffective, the bureau of corruption este customs, the dismal law and order, the squatters, the traffic, the kind of drivers that we have…you name it…its endless, i am not a pessimist but i think we should first improve on the items aforementioned then we can talk about that tourism…let’s just be realistic. do you see my point?

    • Anonymous

      How do we create tourist as huge as that?? if someone like you will stop senseless pessimism!

      • Anonymous

        it is not senseless pessimism  ifall in line every time i pay at the airport several times a year…now just this week i have to call the attention of some cleaners to clean up the floor at the airport because i was so concern with our airport we do not create things for tourism by pure imagination, we want the government to act and put up the necessary infrastructure…..

  • Anonymous

    “Aquino added that just as the “Airbus A380 was an ambitious project… this hangar is an ambitious (one as well),” adding that such a hangar was necessary in the country “because we want our workforce to be known for their skills in aviation.””

    It’s good news, but let’s not limit ourselves way too low. If the PH wants a workforce with aviation skills, it should buy the F-20A program for a fraction of the original cost and partner with Northrop. The US has long abandoned it but we can make a lot of good use of it. 

    Aircraft maintenance is not so much of a valuable skill anymore. Lots of Pinoys already work in those areas in the PH, middle east and other parts of the world. It’s about time to move from just maintainers to designers and manufacturers. Even if we start with small aircraft.

    If building a hangar is already “ambitious” to our leaders, then we’re in really serious trouble. We’re decades left behind by our neighbors who are on their way to building their own aircrafts.

  • Anonymous

    Hanggang kailan natin lolokohin ang mamamayang pilipino ? mga eroplano ng Philippine airlines ay sa Singapore pinagagawa at karamihan ng gumagawa ay yung mga pilipinong nagsi-alis sa PAL at Lufthansa technik philippines. Hindi nagpapagawa ng Heavy check ang PAL ng mga eroplano nila sa LTP.

  • Anonymous

    The government should relocate and modernize manila international airport………..modernize railway transit system interconnecting Aparri from North down to Bicol to the south…capitalize on scenic views outside of congested cities…..

  • Anonymous

    Go Philippines!! A lot of exciting developments.

    Keep it up PNoy!

  • ferds

    Good, that really good!! 

  • Anonymous

    Dito lang magaling si Pweenoy, social functions at demagoguery, kaya nga gusto ni Drilon, Roxas at Abad gawin na lang siyang symbolic president.

  • Anonymous

    The opening of this facility indeed reaffirms the confidence of the international business in the Philippines. It is also a clear indicator of confidence in the technical human resources of our country.

  • Anonymous

    BUT 380 IS FAULTY…….

  • Mafe

    Dapat lang na maging confident tayo sa ating human resources. Di natin maikakaila na kahit developing country tayo, we have a pool of dynamic and intelligent engineers, mechanics,  in addition to that are the filipino scientist, educators, doctors and other professionals. Go Philippines!  kaya natin to!

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