Vector Aerospace opens its first repair and overhaul facility in Asia

SINGAPORE - Canadian aircraft maintenance and repair firm Vector Aerospace unveiled its first Asian maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Seletar Aerospace Park on Thursday, some 18 months after breaking ground.

The facility, which costs over $50 million, is equipped with full engine overhaul and test capability. It will focus its efforts on servicing works for the Pratt and Whitney's PW150A turboprop engine, used in aircraft manufacturer Bombardier's Q400 regional airliners.

It will mean faster turnaround times and lower shipping costs for engine owners and operators.

"This centre will provide highly responsive local support for the 100 or so Bombardier Q400 regional airliners operating here in Asia," said Mr Declan O'Shea, president and chief executive officer of Vector Aerospace. He added that Singapore was chosen due to its pro-business environment and reputation as a regional aerospace hub, among other reasons.

Vector Aerospace will also be investing in the future of Singaporeans by support education and technical training. On Thursday, it also signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding with Republic Polytechnic (RP).

For a start, students will be able to take up internships at the facility for up to six months. During their stint, they will also be able to acquire the industry-wide Non-Destructive Testing Level II certification.

Through the partnership, which is in line with the national SkillsFuture initiative, Vector Aerospace will also provide scholarships, and students who show potential may be recruited as technicians or engineers.

Three RP aerospace engineering graduates are now working at the facility, and nine students have since gone on internships with the firm.

Currently, the facility has about 40 staff. The firm is expected to employ about 100 more in the next few years. They will be involved in repair, test, engineering, commercial and support roles.

Mr Yeoh Keat Chuan, managing director of Economic Development Board, said: "Not only will these students gain relevant exposure through this programme, they will also be equipped with the necessary skills and certification relevant to the industry.

"Such activities will help Vector Aerospace build a strong local workforce, and also boost Singapore's efforts in building up critical manpower capabilities for the aerospace industry."