Emirates has started building a new jet engine test facility, one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated and the only one of its size in the Middle East region at a cost of $35-40 million.
The ground-breaking ceremony held recently at the construction site marked a significant milestone in the construction and commissioning of the 6,000m facility, which was designed in cooperation with General Electric International. Due for completion in January 2007, the facility will house a 13m cross section jet engine test cell and an auxiliary power unit test cell and will be capable of testing aircraft engines with up to 150,000 pounds of thrust.
Adel Al Redha, executive vice-president engineering and operations at Emirates, said, “This state-of-the-art test facility will be one of approximately 12 such facilities in the world and unique in the Middle East region.” He added: “It optimises the latest technological advancements in test technology and in architectural and engineering designs. It also meets all the requirements of local environmental, health and safety regulations.”
The new facility will be capable of testing a large spectrum of jet engines and a wide array of auxiliary power units, which will initially include the Rolls-Royce Trent 500, 700 and 800 engine series, the Engine Alliance GP 7000 and the General Electric E 90-115 B engine as well as the Honeywell GTCP 331-350, GTCP 331-500 and the GTCP 331-600 auxiliary power units.
The environmentally-friendly and efficient test facility has been designed to meet all stringent regulations for noise, emissions and waste management in addition to all safety requirements.
The new engine test facility is just one of Emirates’ initiatives in the construction of state-of-the-art aviation facilities. The airline is currently constructing a new $353 million (Dh1.3 billion) Engineering Centre on a 55-hectare site on the north side of Dubai International Airport to keep pace with the growth of its fleet, which is expected to more than double from the current 78 aircraft over the next seven years.
Scheduled for completion early next year, the new Engineering Center will be one of the biggest civil aviation maintenance facilities in the world. Its eight hangars will form the largest free-spanned structures in the Middle East with roofs supported by 110m-long single spans.
By Jonna Simon
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