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Norwich Airport and KLM UK Engineering agree £7m hangar deal

The project will be managed by Rigby Real Estate (RRE), the property division of airport owners, Rigby Group. It will see the construction of a 54,000 sq ft hangar and 15,500 sq ft workshop that will be completed by August 2020.

The deal provides KLM UK Engineering with significant additional new capacity providing high quality aircraft maintenance and repair services to customers worldwide. KLM UK Engineering employs 390 staff at Norwich and also delivers aircraft engineering apprenticeships and training through its technical training college located in the neighbouring International Aviation Academy Norwich.

Norwich Airport managing director Richard Pacesaid: “KLM UK Engineering is a major employer in Norwich with hundreds of skilled staff. This deal underlines its long-term commitment to the region and is another significant milestone in the airport’s strategy of creating a global aviation centre of excellence.”

Peter van der Horst, managing director at KLM UK Engineering, said: “We are delighted to have agreed this expansion project with Norwich Airport. This will enable us to provide a more efficient service to our customers, allow us to maintain the larger next generation aircraft and provide extra capacity with a sixth bay. Our team in Norwich are excited with this development and look forward to revealing the new hangar in 2020.”

KLM UK Engineering is headquartered at Norwich where it has operated for more than 40 years. It currently has five fully equipped heavy maintenance bays across three hangars at the airport and has extensive experience on many aircraft types including Embraer170/190, Boeing 737 (all series), Airbus A320 family, BAe 146 and Avro RJ, and Fokker 70/100 types.

The build of a new hangar for KLM UK Engineering at the airport gives Satys Air Livery UK Ltd the opportunity to take on the hangar vacated by KLM UK Engineering. This will consolidate Norwich as the head office of Aftermarket and VIP Painting Division of the Satys Group and the largest place in Europe for repainting narrow body aircrafts (4 hangars).

Thierry Melet, managing director of Satys Air Livery UK Ltd,said: “We are looking forward to consolidating our position in Norwich. The additional hangar will provide both additional capacity for growth and potential synergies to satisfy our current customers in a very competitive market.”

The Satys Group is a large, growing group with its head office in Toulouse and purchased Satys Air Livery UK Ltd (formerly Air Livery Ltd) in October 2018. The new hangar will increase the number of employees from approximately 80 to 100 in Norwich, providing local recruitment opportunities in the aircraft repainting sector.

Satys Air Livery UK Ltd purchased Sprayavia in November 2008 and have been operating at Norwich Airport ever since.

Norwich Airport is part of Regional & City Airports (RCA), the airports management division of Rigby Group, which also owns and operates Exeter Airport and Bournemouth Airport.

Copy ends

Picture Caption:

Left to right: James Shipley - Finance Director - KLM UK Engineering; Peter van der Horst - Managing Director - KLM UK Engineering; Richard Pace - Managing Director - Norwich Airport; Mark Thomas - Finance Director - Satys Air Livery UK Ltd; Paul Woods – Sales Director - Satys Air Livery UK Ltd

Photo credits - Jon Rogers

Notes to Editors

About Norwich Airport

Norwich Airport is part of Regional & City Airports, the airport management division of Rigby Group plc having been acquired in June 2014. The airport employs 280 people.

The Airport offers direct scheduled flights to Amsterdam and Manchester (with connections to over 600 destinations worldwide), Aberdeen, Alicante, Edinburgh, Exeter, Guernsey, Jersey and Malaga.

Holiday flights operate to Bulgaria, Corfu, Crete, Cyprus, Ibiza, Iceland, Lapland, Majorca, Menorca, Rhodes, Tenerife and Turkey.


The airport is a key hub for the southern North Sea offshore oil and gas industry with more than 100,000 passengers a year travelling offshore.


About RCA

Regional & City Airports (RCA) owns and operates Norwich Airport, Exeter Airport, Coventry Airport and recent acquisition Bournemouth Airport, as well as holding management contracts for Blackpool International Airport, Solent Airport (Daedalus) and City of Derry Airport.


RCA has built a reputation as an efficient and safe commercial airports operator, driving improvements to route development, commercial revenues, operating costs and capital investment to deliver a consistently sound commercial return. Already employing more than 550 people, RCA is on its way to becoming a leading player in the regional airport sector and is taking advantage of the lack of capacity at major hub airports in the UK to demonstrate how regional airports can ease the strain.


Rigby Group


Rigby Group plc is the parent company for a portfolio of family-owned and highly successful businesses operating across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.  Diversifying from its origins as a principally technology-led business, Rigby Group plc has evolved across the last 40 years - through smart, strategic acquisitions - into a £2.1Bn British success story with more than £286m in net assets and 7,500 employees.


Rigby Group comprises six key divisions: Aviation (British International Helicopters and Capital Air Ambulance), Technology (SCC – Europe’s largest independent IT services business), Airports (XLR Jet Centres, Regional & City Airports, Norwich Airport, Bournemouth Airport, Exeter Airport and Coventry Airport), Hotels (the Eden Hotel Collection), Real Estate (Rigby & Rigby super prime property development, Rigby Group Real Estate and Imperial Park, Coventry) and Finance (Rigby Private Equity, Rigby Technology Investments and Rigby Capital).


With two generations of the Rigby family at the helm, Rigby Group has built a distinguished reputation as both an investor and business operator; renowned for its independent thinking, seamless execution and a peerless approach to acquiring and nurturing businesses to unleash their potential. Our target, within the next decade, is to double the achievements of the past 40 years - creating a £4Bn business by 2025 that will make Rigby Group, arguably, the most successful wholly-owned family business the UK has ever produced.


About KLM UK Engineering

KLM UK Engineering Limited is a leading regional aircraft and narrow body MRO, wholly owned by KLM and member of the AFI KLM E&M Network. Services include base maintenance, UK line maintenance, technical training and component repairs for Boeing 737’s, Airbus A320’s, Fokker 70/100, BAe146/Avro RJ’s and Embraer E170/190. KLM UK Engineering has been based at Norwich Airport for over 40 years and employs approx. 390 people and prides itself on having an experienced and skilled work force, delivering a superior service and high-quality product at a competitive price.  


For more information contact:

John Casey, DCA Public Relations,, 01752 858901