Aircraft hangars are just as common as aircraft themselves. Anywhere you see aircraft, odds are there is a hangar not too far away. Apart from storage, hangars serve a crucial purpose in the aviation industry: maintenance. Maintenance hangars differ significantly from a line or storage hangar. Traditional hangars have a simple function: to house aircraft safely and securely. On the other hand, maintenance hangars are broad, wide-open arenas with the lone purpose of conducting major maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) on aircraft.
MRO hangars are not at every airport. This is mainly because they are extremely expensive facilities and, in addition to housing and repairing aircraft, they must also house the associated maintenance materials such as stands, scaffolding, tools, test stands, and even component overhaul backshops. In these backshops, things like hydraulic and pneudraulic system components are overhauled for prolonged use. Maintenance of these components is known as base-level maintenance, which is different from line maintenance. Line maintenance refers to the general servicing of an aircraft such as changing tires and breaks, making minor repairs to dents, and so on.
Simply put, the most important feature of a maintenance hangar is space. Major MRO is heavy duty work and requires an abundance of space to carry it out properly. In addition to raw space, an efficient layout is key in the productivity of an MRO facility. If the floorplan is not ergonomic and well thought out, it will likely only hinder the crew’s ability to work. Ideally, an MRO facility should be built to suit a specific mission. This is to say, if a business is tailored to repairing Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, it would be unwise to build a hangar for Boeing 737 aircraft. This is not always realistic due to the diverse lineup of aircraft MRO facilities must serve, but it is wise to avoid overbuilding a hangar whenever possible.
Space is also one of the most significant differences between parking hangars and maintenance hangars. As parking hangars serve only to house as many aircraft as possible, they are built to do just that. Maintenance hangars, on the other hand, must be built to accommodate the many moving pieces used on a daily basis. These moving pieces are known as ground support equipment. Maintenance hangars should be built such that ground support equipment can be conveniently stowed, while remaining easily accessible for immediate use.
Two of the best examples of excellent maintenance hangars are the Qantas hangar at LAX and the American Airlines Base Maintenance Facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At Qantas’ hangar, the Australian airline oversees maintenance performed on their Airbus A380 fleet. This is an example of an airline establishing an MRO facility at a non-home station to better utilize aircraft downtime. The American Airline facility in Tulsa is the largest MRO in the world, comprising over 3.3 million square feet of combined hangar space over 22 buildings. More than 800 aircraft are serviced there annually.
In conclusion, maintenance hangars not only protect equipment and personnel from the outside elements, but they are a key part of the MRO process as a whole. At ASAP Buying, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you source all types of aircraft structural components, landing gear, actuators, brakes, and more and deliver them with some of the industry’s best lead times. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-509-207-7972. Our team of dedicated account managers is standing by and will respond to you in 15 minutes or less.
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