The ground-breaking ceremony at its construction site near Dubai marked a significant milestone in the construction and commissioning of the 6,000 metre facility, which was designed in co-operation with General Electric International Inc.
Due for completion in January 2007, it will house a 13-metre cross-section jet engine test cell and an auxiliary power unit test cell, and will be capable of testing aircraft engines with up to 150,000 pounds of thrust.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President Engineering & Operations, said: “This state-of-the-art test facility will be one of approximately 12 such facilities in the world and unique in the Middle East region.
“It optimises the latest technological advancements in test technology, and in architectural and engineering design. In addition, it meets all the requirements of local environmental, health and safety regulations.
“Consistent with Emirates’ unprecedented growth initiatives, the facility reaffirms the airline’s commitment to expanding and improving its aircraft and engine maintenance capabilities, thus achieving a higher and more economical level of self-sufficiency while further boosting customer confidence in our excellent safety and reliability record.”
The facility will be capable of testing a large spectrum of jet engines and a wide array of auxiliary power units, which will initially include the Rolls-Royce Trent 500, 700, and 800 engine series, the Engine Alliance GP7000, and the General Electric E90-115B engine, as well as the Honeywell GTCP331-350, GTCP331-500 and GTCP331-600 auxiliary power units.
The aesthetically-pleasing, environmentally-friendly and efficient test operation was designed to meet all stringent regulations for noise, emissions and waste management, in addition to all safety and environmental requirements.
The new engine test facility is just one of Emirates’ initiatives in the construction of state-of-the-art aviation facilities. The airline is constructing a new US$353 million (Dh1.3 billion) Engineering Centre on a 55-hectare (136 acres) site on the north side of Dubai International Airport to keep pace with the growth of its fleet, which is expected to more than double from the current 78 aircraft over the next seven years.
Scheduled for completion in early 2006, the new centre will be one of the biggest civil aviation maintenance facilities in the world. Its eight hangars will form the largest free-spanned structures in the Middle East, with roofs supported by 110-metre long single spans.
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