TurbineAero has opened an auxiliary power unit (APU) repair facility outside Bangkok that will allow it to almost double its capacity in Southeast Asia.

The custom-built $10.7 million facility’s layout should help the company increase efficiencies and decrease turnaround times, as well as expand repairs to further vertically integrate its APU aftermarket offerings.

TurbineAero in 2019 plans to repair 162 APUs at its Amata City Industrial Estate facility in Chonburi, Thailand, and 190 in 2020. The facility has the capacity for 300, TurbineAero VP and general manager for Asia Peter Gille said. Because the facility is in a free zone, TurbineAero can complete the customs declarations itself, which, Gille said, makes imports and exports faster.

Since the Gores Group purchased Triumph Air Repair-Chandler, Triumph Engines-Tempe and parts of Triumph Aviation Services Asia-Thailand, and combined them under the TurbineAero brand, the company has been expanding its offerings around APUs with the aim to provide full, integrated service with parts choices—including original equipment manufacturer (OEM), parts manufacturer approval (PMA) and designated engineering representative repairs, VP-sales and marketing Donna Chase said.

Since weaving the companies together, TurbineAero has leveraged engineering capabilities in the U.S. and Thailand to actively expand its repair offerings, Chase said.

Continually developing repairs, along with offering PMA parts, has helped avoid parts shortages that are common in the industry for APUs such as the Honeywell GTCP331, she noted.

“We make strategic (parts) buys every quarter,” so the MRO has OEM and PMA parts in stock to satisfy customers who want pure OEM or alternative sources for bigger cost savings, Chase explained.

In the first quarter of 2020, TurbineAero’s Thailand facility plans to add Boeing 777 APU (GTCP331-500) repair capability, which it offers in the U.S. It also plans to “deepen piece part and accessories repairs” next year, Gille noted.

The new 80,000-sq.ft. facility includes three test cells, two of which are fitted out, he said. Gille said the company is in the process of modifying a test cell, acquiring the tools and training its workforce to prepare for work on 777 APUs. The Thai facility also is considering adding some pneumatics and avionics repairs in 2021-22, he said.

TurbineAero Thailand’s customer split is about 65% from the Asia-Pacific region, 25% from Europe, and 10% from the Middle East and Africa, Gille added. Some of its Asian customers include All Nippon AirwaysChina AirlinesChina Southern Airlines, Taiwan’s EVA AirJapan Airlines and Thai Airways.

Lee Ann Shay, leeann.shay@aviationweek.com