ST Aerospace saw 2011 revenue inch up 3% to S$1,927 million (US$1,542 million), while earnings before interest and tax were 4% higher at S$242.1 million.
The MRO operator saw higher revenue in the component/engine repair and overhaul business and more project milestone completions in the engineering & materials services business group. This was partially offset, however, by lower revenue in the aircraft maintenance & modification business and the impact of a weaker US Dollar.
"Despite the weaker US Dollar, the sector improved its profits," noted ST Aerospace president Chang Cheow Teck.
The steady results came a few days after the company broke ground for Hangar 800 at its Seletar Aerospace Park facility, where it is building a purpose built hangar for business and general aviation maintenance.
The new hangar will double its business/general aviation capacity at Seletar to around 24 units at any one time. Hangar 800, which is being built on the site of the first hangar built by ST Aerospace back in the early 1980s, will have a floor area of 3,960 square metres. It will also cater for air charter services.
ST Aerospace supports 24 aircraft types in the business aviation and general aviation sectors, including helicopters. It also has approvals from 24 civil aviation authorities.
Next to Hangar 800, ST Aerospace is developing a training and support centre on 23,100 square metres. "We see a major need for training and services over the next 20 years," said Chang, adding that there is plenty of "flexibility" in the use of this space.
The new facility will house six full flight simulators and one full size fixed base simulator. "Besides anticipating for growth, this suite of training facilities are also custom designed for the newly legislated Singapore MPL programme," said Chang. ST Aerospace’s commercial pilot training arm, ST Aerospace Academy (STAA) successfully completed Singapore’s first Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) programme for Tiger Airways last year, and is also training pilots from various other countries, including a number from China.
The new site will also house a VIP lounge and handling facilities for air charter customers - services that Chang points are much needed at fast growing Seletar Airport.
Not including the simulators, the new facilities amount to an investment of S$26 million for ST Aerospace, and are expected to be ready by the end of the year. ST Aerospace signed a deal at the Singapore Air Show that will see it partner Airbus and EADS EFW in A330 freighter conversions. ST Aerospace will mainly be involved in the design work for the programme.
The Hangar 800 development is the latest in a string of investments in Seletar Aerospace Park's business/general aviation community, which saw openings by Hawker Pacific and Fokker Services - both just a stone's throw from Hangar 800, during the Singapore Air Show. Textron is close to completing a support centre for Bell Helicopters and Cessna nearby as well.