Air Transport World

IATA carriers pass along their knowhow to others.

The so-called Third World is actually a multiplicity of worlds. In the push for industrialization there are some countries that have made it, some that probably will make it, some that probably won't, and some that almost surely won't. Yet nearly every Third World country has felt, whether for reasons of national pride or access to hard currency earnings, that it must be able to display one of the badges of industrialization--its own international airline.

Lacking advanced technical and managerial skills, the new airlines of the post-colonial era turned to the developed countries and their airlines for guidance and key management, flight, maintenance and engineering personnel. New this is occurring to an ever-decreasing extent as local talent is trained in the necessary skills. In fact, some of the former "pupil" airlines have reached the point where they are not only self-sufficient in many disciplines but are providing sophisticated services to other carriers.

A brief sampling suggests how far this group has come. Ethiopian Airlines, which has been maintaining its own aircraft for about 30 years, is reported to earn 10% of its gross revenues from third party work. It offers a broad range of training and technical services. It plans a new maintenance complex for the Boeing 767, with an engine test cell able to handle powerplants with up to 100,000 lbs. thrust.

Royal Air Maroc's FAA-approved overhaul and repair base at Casablanca can perform all airframe checks on its 707s, 727s, 737s and, except for the D check, on its 747. A new engine overhaul shop is in the planning stages.

IATA's role

Elsewhere, Saudia's new engine overhaul base at Jeddah will be able to handle maintenance and overhaul of the Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce engines on its Boeing and Lockheed aircraft types. Royal Brunei's engineering department performs work up to 737 C checks, plus inspection and maintenance of aircraft safety equipment, painting, avionics repair, interior refurbishment and metal work, at Brunei International Airport. Thai International is upgrading its facilities at Bangkok Airport to handle D checks on 747s and A300s and Level 4 work on GE CF6-50 engines. Kenya Airways can perform all airframe work on 707s, DC-9s and F27s, overhaul Dart turboprop engines, and overhaul and repair various components. Cameroon Airlines' personnel--supervised by Air France, Aer Lingus and Sabena specialists--recently performed their first D check on a 747. Air Lanka has a new Rolls-Royce RB211 engine module change facility and plans to be able to handle all its own overhaul work by 1990.

In recent years, the International Air Transport Association, prodded by Third World member airlines, has taken an active role in organizing and coordinating training services and providing financial assistance to airline personnel selected for training. …

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