Aircraft maintenance operation rises out of the desert

  • 30-Jun-2008 06:25 EDT
Dubai World central #30211F.jpg

UAE Prime Minister HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum (center) examines a model of the planned Dubai World Central, home to a new aircraft maintenance company that just bought Standard Aero and Landmark Aviation.

The emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operates one of the world’s most respected airlines, Emirates. Now it intends to re-create that success in the field of aircraft maintenance. The newly created Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) recently completed its $1.9 billion acquisition of aviation service providers Standard Aero and Landmark Aviation from The Carlyle Group. DAE will merge the companies as a business enterprise within its DAE Engineering subsidiary.

UAE Vice President and Prime Minister HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum is the Chairman of DAE. Its chief executive officer is long-time maintenance executive Bob Johnson, the former president and CEO of Honeywell Aerospace.

“DAE is quickly establishing itself as a significant player in the global aerospace industry,” said Johnson, in a statement. “The acquisition of Standard Aero and Landmark Aviation provides a critical platform for DAE to take advantage of growth opportunities in the MRO business around the world.”

DAE is developing an integrated aerospace cluster that eventually will be based at Dubai World Central, the new 140-km2 airport and logistics city being constructed at Jebel Ali, Dubai. DAE has formed seven core divisions: research and development; manufacturing; engineering; operations; maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO); aircraft leasing; and aerospace services.

The combination of Standard Aero and Landmark Aviation gives DAE an immediate worldwide maintenance presence, with 12 primary facilities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Singapore, and Australia, plus 14 regionally located service and support locations.

Standard Aero provides gas-turbine engine and accessory MRO and engineering services to regional airlines, military, business aviation, helicopter operators, and industrial operators located in more than 75 countries. Landmark Aviation, with four major MRO operations in the U.S., offers nose-to-tail services that include engine, airframe, avionics, interior refurbishment, and paint for mid- to heavy-aircraft.

Landmark Aviation also operates Associated Air Center, a completion center that produces aircraft interiors for transport-size aircraft manufactured by Boeing and Airbus.

As part of the acquisition, DAE will divest the Landmark Aviation Airport Services business, which includes 33 fixed bases of operation (FBOs) for business aircraft, an aircraft sales and charter business, and maintenance operations associated with the FBO sites. An independent board of trustees made up of former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey, and former Pentagon Comptroller Dov Zakheim will oversee the operations of Landmark Aviation Airport Services and the sale process.

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