August 8, 2008

SkyPark FBO to Help Bring New Life to Subang Airport

By Presenna Nambiar

SKYPARK FBO Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a newly set up fixed base operator (FBO) at the Subang airport, expects to chart RM3 million to RM5 million in revenue in its first year of operation.

The company, which is part of the RM350 million redevelopment plan for Subang airport, is the result of a joint venture between Switzerland-based ExecuJet Aviation Group and Australia's Hawker Pacific.

It offers services for private and corporate aircraft such as fuelling, repairs, parking, tie-down and hangar storage.

"The introduction of Swiss VistaJet Holding SA's charter services and the establishment of the SkyPark FBO (in Malaysia) takes us further forward in our journey towards setting up the region's first general and corporate aviation hub with world-class standard of products, services, facilities and amenities," Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said at the launch of SkyPark FBO in Subang yesterday.

He said it is the aim of the government to develop the Malaysia International Aerospace Centre into a pulsating and thriving centre of private aviation, the largest and finest in Asean, if not Asia.

VistaJet is SkyPark FBO's first customer to offer private jet charter services with an initial commitment of two dedicated aircraft in Subang.

There are plans to bring in another aircraft in 2009.

"Subang has been quiet for the last 10 years and we plan to put it back on the world map," Subang SkyPark Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Ravindran Menon said.

He said the first phase of the redevelopment of Subang Airport is almost complete with the launch of SkyPark FBO and the RM35 million refurbishment of Terminal 3 which will be completed in October this year.

Work on Phase 2 of the three-part redevelopment of the terminal is to start next month. It will entail the creation of a regional aviation centre with maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities, a dedicated hangar and corporate aviation-related industries.

"The FBO operations will be a significant investment for both Hawker Pacific and ExecuJet, but it will be the investment that is put into the development of the MRO facility that would be enormous," Hawker Pacific chief executive officer Alan Smith said.

He said a typical maintenance facility would involve between US$5 million and US$10 million (RM16.4 million and RM32.8 million) in investments, without taking into account the investment in training.

Hawker Pacific and ExecuJet plan to individually operate MRO hangars in their own products and services, with aircraft parking services.

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