Bombardier investing $85m to expand S'pore service centre

Bombardier's Global 6000 aircraft at a ground-breaking ceremony for its service centre expansion in Seletar yesterday. The expansion will see the facility's staff strength grow from 150 currently to 300 by 2020.
Bombardier's Global 6000 aircraft at a ground-breaking ceremony for its service centre expansion in Seletar yesterday. The expansion will see the facility's staff strength grow from 150 currently to 300 by 2020.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Canadian aerospace firm Bombardier is quadrupling the size of its Singapore service centre, as part of efforts to enhance its position in the Asia-Pacific region, at a cost of $85 million.

Located at JTC Corporation's Seletar Aerospace Park, the centre, which currently spans 9,260 sq m, will grow to 40,000 sq m - or the size of five football fields - by 2020.

A ground-breaking ceremony for the expanded facility was held yesterday.

The expansion will see the centre offer a range of maintenance, refurbishment and modification services, and will also include the introduction of features such as a 3,500 sq m paint facility and an integrated parts depot.

The expanded service centre, which will cater to business jets such as Bombardier's new Global 7500 aircraft, will be able to support more than 2,000 visits a year, a Bombardier spokesman said.

Based in Montreal, the plane and train manufacturer currently operates in 28 countries worldwide, and posted revenues of US$16.2 billion (S$21.8 billion) last year.It currently employs 68,000 workers worldwide, with 150 people at its service centre in Singapore.

Bombardier customer experience vice-president and general manager Jean-Christophe Gallagher said the expansion will see the Singapore facility's staff strength grow to 300 by 2020, "bringing more high-paying jobs to Singapore and providing an important economic engine" to Singapore's aerospace sector.

GROWING AEROSPACE HUB

Bombardier's expansion in Singapore is testament to our attractiveness as an aerospace hub, and our ability to capture growth opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.

'' MR TAN KONG HWEE, executive director for capital goods at the Economic Development Board.

Mr Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of International Trade Diversification, said: "This important Canadian investment in Singapore is a platform that will create new opportunities for Canadian business in the region, and further diversify Canada's export markets."

Meanwhile, Canadian High Commissioner to Singapore, Ms Lynn McDonald, noted that Bombardier's agreements with educational institutions here would help ensure the creation of "highly skilled, high-paying aerospace jobs for years to come".

Mr Tan Kong Hwee, executive director for capital goods at the Economic Development Board, said: "Bombardier's expansion in Singapore is testament to our attractiveness as an aerospace hub, and our ability to capture growth opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region."

Singapore's aerospace sector employs more than 20,000 people, and the Republic makes up more than 25 per cent of the Asian maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market, as well as 10 per cent of the global MRO market.

There are more than 130 aerospace companies here. These include Rolls-Royce, which has a $700 million campus in Seletar and makes up more than 15 per cent of the Republic's aerospace output.

Last October, Bombardier began work on the expansion of its service centre at the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. The Florida centre, which is also expected to be completed in 2020, aims to grow its maintenance capabilities in North America.

A Bombardier spokesman said: "These major investments and expansions are the next steps in providing worldwide customers with new, enhanced maintenance and refurbishment options."

Speaking at the event, JTC assistant chief executive Alvin Tan said the industrial land agency will begin work on a third phase of standard factories at the Seletar Aerospace Park later this year.These factories will better cater to the needs of firms, which are employing more automation, he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2019, with the headline 'Bombardier investing $85m to expand S'pore service centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe