While most people are very much aware of comings and goings of aircrafts in and around and airport from its take-off and landing and taxiing and so on, but are we aware of what happens to aircrafts when they’re not in the air? Every aircraft is checked and maintained between flights and such maintenance and procedures are carried out in what is called a hangar.
Hangars are building where planes are ‘parked’ and maintained. Hangars are most often used for doing repairs and maintenance on aircraft. The area where airplanes park outside along the terminal is called an “apron”. Hangars are used for: protection from the weather, protection from direct sunlight, maintenance, repair, manufacture, assembly and storage of aircraft on airfields. The aircraft hangar is what keeps the bird in optimum condition.
Air India Express has its own Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility adjacent to the Trivandrum Airport that employs qualified hands in aerospace and related fields from across the state.
Prior to opening of the hangar in Trivandrum AIE had to depend on other aircraft maintenance facilities in the country, and previously all aircrafts had to be flown to the base station at Mumbai for maintenance.
The hangar facility enables major aircraft overhaul and repair as well as various levels of checks and servicing of the machines. The facility in Trivandum boasts around 10,000 square foot apron space and a 5,000 square foot work space. The entire engineering hub of AIE is situated at the maintenance hangar at the state capital. Out of AIE’s fleet of 21 Boeing 737-800 aircrafts, 17 operate out of the three major airports in Kerala and the location of the hangar at Trivandrum helps release spare aircraft fast if any flights encounter technical issues or snags.
All of AIE’s flights visit the hangar for regular checking and maintenance. After a 500 hour travel time, each flight is brought to the hangar for a ‘Phase Check’ where the airplane is grounded for a day or two. In a phase check, all the major components of the aircraft like engines, fuel lines, landing gear and dozens of other parts are inspected and repaired if needed. We also carry out line maintenance, base maintenance, aircraft painting, aircraft weighing, lease return checks and cabin refurbishment.
At our hangar, AIE carries phase checks as well as the more comprehensive ‘C’- and ‘D’-level checks of narrow-bodied aircraft as well as modifications to the aircraft as recommended by the manufacturer and even repair and change of engines if need be. Our hangar is also home a state-of-the-art painting booth. Last year alone, we carried out 142 Phase Checks and 14 C Checks.