Bombardier Invests $100M In Miami Opa-Locka Service Center

Credit: Bombardier

MIAMI OPA-LOCKA—Bombardier officially opened a $100 million maintenance facility at Miami Opa-Locka Executive Airport (OPF) on Oct. 31 that will support operators in Florida and Latin America.

The 300,000-ft.2 service center, the OEM’s biggest facility in North America under one roof, is already performing scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. This includes major inspections, upgrades, modifications and avionics installations, as well as interior refurbishments.

Bombardier will not paint aircraft at the site straight away, but has provisioned four acres of space right next to the airport for this capability. Meanwhile, the company is working on the design and financing of that project, officials say.

Prior to the OPF facility opening, the OEM supported customers in the region from a 70,000-ft.2 space at Signature Flight Support at Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL). The same maintenance activities were being offered in one-quarter of the space.

Bombardier will retain mobile maintenance trucks at FLL and can complete some drop-in work there, but it will not have a hangar. The majority of maintenance will shift to Opa-Locka.

“We do a lot of business in the winter coming out of the [U.S.] Northeast and Canada. Florida has always been a key location for us, but the problem has always been the amount of space we have,” says Chris Debergh, Bombardier vice president of products and services.

Miami Opa-Locka, a general aviation airport on the northwest side of the Miami metropolitan area, should be easier to obtain takeoff and landing slots than at FLL, he says.

With 70 Bombardier aircraft domiciled at Opa-Locka, Bombardier has a concentration of customers here. In all, more than 5,000 Bombardier aircraft are in service worldwide.

“It is a really good place for our expansion, from a macro perspective,” Debergh says.

On opening, the facility employs 125 staff. That will rise to 175 during November. The plan is for the facility to employ about 300 staff in the next year or so, including 225 technicians, says Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Bombardier executive vice president of services, support and corporate strategy.

About 140 FLL employees will move to OPA, says Debergh.

Bombardier invested $100 million in the new facility, which  it took possession of in July. The company started doing limited maintenance work in mid-September.

“We are very excited about what’s going on here in terms of increasing our footprint in Florida,” Gallagher said. “This is part of a much bigger strategy that Bombardier has to increase its aftermarket presence around the world.”

Bombardier’s goal is to reach $2 billion in aftermarket revenue per year by 2025, up from $1.4 billion recorded in aftermarket revenue this year, Gallagher says. It also aims to capture 50% of the aftermarket business for Bombardier aircraft by 2025, up from 40% today.

This is the fourth maintenance facility that Bombardier has opened this year—the others are in: Melbourne, Australia; London Biggin Hill; and Singapore. The four facilities have added nearly 1 million-ft.2 of aftermarket service capacity to its network.

Lee Ann Shay

As executive editor of MRO and business aviation, Lee Ann Shay directs Aviation Week's coverage of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), including Inside MRO, and business aviation, including BCA.

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.