Technology and workforce training to dominate future of commercial aviation’s maintenance repair and overhaul sector

Global Aerospace Summit to examine solutions to worldwide MRO growth challenges

- Middle East MRO market set for boom decade

07 February, 2016 – Dubai, UAE: The advent of new generation intelligent, composite aircraft and its capital investment and skill upgrade requirements are key challenges facing commercial aviation’s maintenance repair and overall sector as it sits on the cusp of a decade of growth, according to industry leaders.

Speaking in advance of a major debate on the MRO industry’s future scheduled for the Global Aerospace Summit in March, experts say the sector has to focus effectively on dealing with composite technology over the coming years.

Christopher Doan, vice president of management consultants Oliver Wyman, believes the composites are vital to providing longer maintenance intervals and repair challenges and the MRO industry needs to get to grips with it fast.

The Summit will also address the increasing threat facing independent MRO providers. Jonas Butautis, CEO, Magnetic MRO believes the capital intensive requirements of new technology is locking out independent MROs leaving the field wide open for increasing involvement by original equipment manufacturers. Butautis also believes IT solutions will be the centerpiece of a future super-efficient MRO industry.

Faced with an evolving landscape, the MRO industry will, according to Abu Dhabi’s management consultancy ADA Millennium, force the sector into a consolidation era hallmarked by joint ventures, mergers and investment to address increasing demand, particularly from the Middle East.

James Curtis, ADA Millennium’s MRO Business Analyst said: “The Middle East has seen tremendous growth in commercial aviation activity but the regional MRO market remains underdeveloped. Our estimates predict 11 million maintenance man-hours will be required per year for the following decade; investment is of paramount importance.’’

However Curtis says growth could be hindered by a lack of a skilled workforce – a dilemma which will come under the Summit spotlight in a panel discussion focusing on the GCC’s MRO segment and whether it can keep up with the growing demand.

Confirmed panelists include: Fahed Al Shamesi, the CEO of specialist military MRO services provider AMMROC; Aileen McDowall, VP Airline, Air Transport and Regional for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India of Honeywell Aerospace and Ziad Al Hamzi, CEO of Lufthansa Technik Middle East.

“Advancements in airframe and engine manufacture and avionics are having a huge knock-on impact on the MRO sector which has to invest and upscale training to stay with the curve,” said Nick Webb, Managing Partner of Streamline Marketing Group (SMG), which organises the biennial Summit. “The challenges are here and now; strategies to address them are vitally needed and the Summit is likely to highlight some innovative measures which could lead to a road map for development.”

The Summit, which will run on March 7 and 8 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), will see 1,000 C-Suite leaders from the aviation, aerospace, defence and space industries debate and analyse their specific sector trends and needs as well as focus on the two key emerging aviation markets of Saudi Arabia and Africa.

Hosted by Mubadala Development Company, the 2016 Summit, the third in the series, is part of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Aviation and Aerospace Week, which is held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Abu Dhabi Airports Company is backing the Summit as an official event partner with Etihad Airways as its official airline.

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