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BAE Systems - New hangars for North Queensland

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BAE Systems
: 27 August, 2009  (New Product)
BAE Systems has established a new, state-of-the-art aircraft maintenance centre in North Queensland to better support the Australian Defence Force (ADF)’s current and future aviation needs.
The Hon Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, today officially opened the company’s new, purpose built hangars at Townsville Airport.

The facility, built at a cost of $10 million, is the home of BAE Systems’ support program for the Australian Army’s Black Hawk and Chinook Helicopter fleets, and provides employment for 140 people.

It replaces former hangars used by BAE Systems which dated back to World War II and lacked space, amenities and air conditioning.

Jim McDowell, Managing Director of BAE Systems Australia, said the new facility was perfectly placed to provide long term military aviation support to the ADF’s airborne assets garrisoned at Townsville (5th Aviation Regiment and RAAF Base Townsville).

“It enables BAE Systems to provide state-of-the-art, safety critical deeper maintenance support to the ADF both now and for future programs such as the C27J Spartan,” he said.

Mr McDowell said BAE Systems was the only major military aviation support company with a commercially tenanted hangar presence in Townsville.

“Our investment reflects not only the company’s commitment to North Queensland but also our willingness to be a major stakeholder in the Northern Australian Aerospace Centre of Excellence (NAACEX) being established at Townsville Airport,” Mr McDowell said.

The two hangars, which are joined by a central atrium, occupy a total space of approximately 5 500 square metres. Each can accommodate an aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 737 and offer direct access to the taxiway.

Mr McDowell said BAE Systems had also invested heavily in aerospace training and enhancing the skills of its technical workforce in the Townsville region.

He said a total of eight employees or almost 10 per cent of the technical workforce in Townsville were apprentices.
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