8th April 2024

Integrated aerostructure and engine MRO services on-site at Vallair align teardowns with repairs for maximum USM value creation.

Chicago/Luxembourg – 8th April 2024: Vallair, the mature aircraft MRO specialist, has completed the update and build of its fully integrated aerostructure repair, and engine teardown & component repair facility in Châteauroux, France. Streamlining these capabilities not only saves time but also offers airlines and lessors a highly cost-effective way to sustain the lifecycle of large components that might otherwise be scrapped due to the associated transport costs with shipping for repair.

Vallair is currently seeing an increase in repairs for nacelles and flight control parts with customers choosing to work with their reactive team. François Biarneix, Operations Director in Châteauroux, explains why this is, “We have a short decision-making circuit at Vallair and a highly experienced technical team.  Many customers come for specific aerostructure expertise, but we also encompass a lot of ad hoc work for those with aircraft undergoing C-check maintenance. Using our integrated services reduces TATs considerably. If a part such as a fan cowl needs to be repaired, we can provide an immediate quote and start processing the repair without delay.”

As Biarneix observes, “The global aerostructure repair services market is influenced by several factors, including the growth of the aviation sector and the increasing age of commercial aircraft fleets. Outsourcing aerostructure repairs can offer customers cost savings via access to specialised expertise. We are shaping our facility and our development programme to meet the challenges of the skills shortage coupled with the need for rapid turnaround times, and the complexities involved in repairing newer composite materials. To support this, we have our own Part 147 EASA approved training centre, Aircraft Academy, on-site in Châteauroux. This is focused on the next generation of technicians and engineers and delivers theoretical and practical courses across a broad range of Airbus and Boeing narrow and wide body aircraft and aligned engine types.”

The aerostructure repair services industry plays a pivotal role in maintaining the safety, efficiency, and readiness of the global aviation fleet. The MRO activities being undertaken at Vallair’s facility include structure inspection & repair, composites inspection & repair, and painting for nacelles, flight controls and cabin parts.

Looking ahead, Vallair is poised for further growth and innovation. The adoption of digital technologies for training and repair guidance will prepare their skilled technicians for new developments in the field of sustainable repair materials and further process advancements.

Biarneix identifies one of Vallair’s main MRO strengths as having the aerostructures and engine shops close to its extensive new maintenance facility in Châteauroux which can take two A330 widebodies and one A320/B737 family aircraft concurrently.  Additionally, Vallair offers some unique benefits in the dismantling of aircraft and engines in the heart of Europe. According to Biarneix, lessors and operators frequently look for facilities in hot and dry climates to handle this activity, but because Vallair undertakes the process inside their hangars, weather is not a factor.  “Most importantly we are in the fortunate position of being able to offer a range of integrated services that are complementary to the teardown process on-site.  These include cleaning, inspection, analysis, photography, packing and storage of all the dismantled parts.  This saves our customers time and is very efficient.”

Such time savings also apply to Vallair’s new engine shop capabilities which cover CFM56 and V2500 series engines. Services include the disassembly and reassembly of modules; minor repairs & inspections; borescope inspections; preservation; leasing of engines, APUs and engine bays.  Borescope capability will soon include Trent 700, PW 4000, CF6-80, Leap, and PW1100 engines.

“Engine teardown facilities are an integral part of the aviation industry’s ecosystem, providing a critical service in the management of aircraft engine lifecycles,” says Biarneix. “Vallair is accredited by AFRA, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association, this ensures that quality standards are maintained through the entire process. As the international aerospace community continues to focus on environmental issues, asset owners are looking for efficient, revenue-building and environmentally-sound methods for aircraft disposal.  From parts distribution, to dismantling, through to materials recycling, Vallair is working on new strategies for management of end-of-life aircraft. With up to 15,000 aircraft due to retire in the next two decades, aircraft recycling offers a broad range of opportunities and Vallair aims to be at the forefront of this sector.”