Aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) is earmarked as a Malaysian growth industry and has full government support under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). To achieve its stated vision of becoming RM193.3 billion (US$65 billion) industry by 2020 and making Malaysia a regional MRO hub, however, the industry needs to make big leaps in policy & procedure improvement, availability of skills, and build a spare parts infrastructure.

MAS Aerospace Engineering (MAE), a division of national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS), is the company best positioned to achieve the goal and seems to have a good understanding of improvement points. The company made RM2 billion ($663.8 million) in revenue in 2010, 40% from its parent company and 60% through third-party and joint venture services. It is the third-largest airframe MRO company in the world, and says 75% of the world’s top airlines are on its client list.

Business TImes reports MAE is currently in talks with potential joint venture partners in China, and recently opened a facility with partner GMR Group in Hyderabad, India, its first outside Malaysia. Asia-Pacific, China and India accounted for 23% of the global MRO market, or RM29.6 billion ($9.8 billion), the company said.

On the homefront, MAE said that to properly develop MRO leadership, Malaysia needed more licensed aviation engineers and more training centers to produce the engineering skills required. There is also a feeling among the country’s top aviation schools that aviation engineering isn’t being promoted effectively enough as a vocation, and that the industry needed greater public awareness of its economic importance before it could develop and keep up with increasing speed and complexity.

source & article: Business Times