SAA Technical, the largest aircraft maintenance facility in Africa, today launched a state of the art multi purpose docking system.“This multi purpose docking system is the only facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and entrenches us as a global player. It improves our service levels to South African Airways, our main customer and positions us to attract more foreign customers,” says Rinesh Ramkissoon, SAA Technical Executive Vice President.
This multi million rand investment has been designed to provide easy access on various types of aircraft, including Boeing 747s and Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft, as well as Mc Donnell Douglas MD-11s.
This acquisition will significantly reduce the number of days needed to complete a D check. During a D-check an aircraft undergoes stringent inspections, major modifications and structural repairs.
The multi purpose docking system runs on rails and can be positioned to provide simultaneous access to most areas of the aircraft. Before SAA Technical had to use stackers, or scaffolding, to reach the different areas of the aircraft. This took up to four days, whereas the multi purpose docking system can be positioned or removed within four hours.
As a further innovation SAA Technical built interior workshops on the mezzanine level of hangar 8. These interlink with the docking system. It saves time and reduces damage due to unnecessary transportation. The avionics and sheet metal workshop and the paint shop have also been moved closer to hangar 8.
“The docking system combined with the close proximity of the workshops is a world first,” says Ramkissoon.