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Lithuanian MRO

Ian Harbison has an exclusive report on MRO in Lithuania
 
A couple of years ago, Invest Lithuania announced an ambitious airport development programme for Vilnius and Kaunas, including MRO facilities (see MRO Management, September 2016). However, progress has stalled as the Lithuanian Government has not confirmed the funding, and noise restrictions at Vilnius have curtailed progress. Kaunas only now started a long-term project, as they started planning potential land plots for investments.
 
Meanwhile, there is a new private enterprise entrant at Šiauliai, which the fourth largest city in the country. Best known for the nearby Hill of Crosses, it also has a huge former Soviet airbase with two of the longest runways in the region, at 11,483ft and 10,761ft.
 
In 1994, the Lithuanian Government granted SQQ international airport status and a major upgrade programme adapted for use for commercial aircraft. However, no scheduled passenger flights currently take place. Instead, it is used as a cargo hub and by the NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission, in which interceptor aircraft from various member states are deployed on temporary detachment to protect the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These countries joined NATO in 2004. As a military base, it has no flying restrictions, and Termicom, a subsidiary of the Completec Group, has taken advantage of this and is planning a 40,000m² area for MRO, cargo, business and general aviation activities in the northwest corner of the airfield.
 
The plan calls for two hangars of 11,400m² and 8,000m² with a door’s height of 21m each. The remaining 20,000m² is reserved for the Air Cargo Hub. A paint shop will be an important facility, as it will be the only one in the region, and the company is looking for experienced partners. An administrative building and a car park for 500 cars will be built as well.
 
This represents an investment of €20 million over the next 4 years, says Povilas Padaiga, CEO of the TERMICOM. Tenders for the hangar construction and modernization of SQQ Airport Infrastructure to be issued in 2019. One tender worth €5 million has already been issued by the European Structural and Investment Fund for tooling, equipment and training and was won by Lead Aero, which selected TECHMAN-HEAD Group of France for the hardware.
 
Amir Mekhaeil, CEO of Lead Aero, says his company is honoured to receive the trust of Termicom. It is aiming to establish a long-term partnership and continue supporting its activities after operations start in 2020. This follows a previous success with EU tenders, supplying equipment to many MRO facilities in the Baltic states. TERMICOM also successfully passed the Lithuanian National Security requirements which are obligatory to initiate airside projects at the airport.

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