Hangar fire fails to delay air safety checks

5th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

5 May 2006, BRUSSELS — Sabena Technics will resume operations at Zaventem Airport on Monday following a devastating fire at its main airplane maintenance hangar on Thursday night.

5 May 2006

BRUSSELS — Sabena Technics will resume operations at Zaventem Airport on Monday following a devastating fire at its main airplane maintenance hangar on Thursday night.

The company said on Friday afternoon it will only need to seek alternative arrangements for large-scale aeroplane maintenance projects.

Some of the large-scale maintenance projects will be conducted at shed 8 at the Brussels international airport.

Fire destroyed hangar 8 — where the large-scale maintenance tasks were carried out — on Thursday night.  Four planes, including a C-130 from the Belgian army, were damaged or destroyed in the blaze.

Sabena Technics said the financial damage cannot yet be estimated, but it is expected to extend into the billions of euros.

But company director Christophe Bernandini assured clients they will encounter very few problems as a result of the fire.

"The small-scale maintenance will proceed as normal. The planning for the large-scale maintenance will need to be re-examined, but we have been busy with that since this morning," he said.

It is possible that the large-scale maintenance will be transferred to shed 8 at Zaventem.
"That is large enough, but we will have to equip it and gain the necessary certificates," Bernandini said.

"Until such time, we can more than probably use other sites of Sabena Technics or our affiliated company TAT in France."

The offices in hangar 40 also went up in flames on Thursday night.

"But our central server was not in that shed so our computer system with all important data has been retained. We will do everything possible to respect our obligations," the company chief said.

Some 150 people worked in hangar 40, but Sabena Technics hopes to redistribute them throughout the company. If jobs cannot be found for everyone, Sabena will provide temporary unemployment for them.

It is possible that a group of workers will conduct maintenance work on army planes in Melsbroek. Defence Minister André Flahaut is discussing the matter with Sabena Technics.

Sabena Technics employs 1,200 people at Zaventem, employing in total with TAT 2,400 workers. In 2005, the two companies recorded turnover of EUR 305 million, EUR 120 million of which was attributed to Sabena Technics.

Sabena Technics performs maintenance on most of the large planes at Zaventem. It is recognised by both Airbus and Boeing.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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