Airbus Helicopters is set to open a new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) complex near its current facility at Kobe Airport in Japan.

The company is expected to start construction next June and plans to commission the facility next November.

Airbus’ existing Kobe Airport Facility can concurrently accommodate up to 25 medium-sized helicopters and includes the company’s regional engineering hub.

It is also equipped with a full-motion full-flight helicopter simulator, which has provided training to more than 500 pilots and engineers across Japan.

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Airbus’ proposed complex is set to expand its presence in the country and will enable the company to become the largest aviation business at the Kobe Airport with a total space of 19,685m².

“We have been building up our capabilities in Kobe over the years and believe the site offers a lot of growth potential.”

The facility will include a hangar, an administration office and a purpose-built warehouse.

It is expected to increase Airbus Helicopters’ overall capacity by 60% to handle nearly 40 medium-sized helicopters simultaneously.

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Airbus Helicopters Japan managing director Olivier Tillier said: “Japan is an important market for Airbus Helicopters. This additional facility is part of our growth plan in the country and demonstrates our commitment to strengthening our support for our customers’ fleets while responding to their increasing demand for aftersale support services.

“We have been building up our capabilities in Kobe over the years and believe the site offers a lot of growth potential.

“With a larger capacity, we will be able to offer our complete suite of support and services to our customers, spanning after-sales customer support, MRO, engineering, technical support, simulator training and warehousing.”

Since 1961, Airbus Helicopters Japan has delivered more than 440 helicopters to operators and customers in the country.

The company aims to boost its market position in accordance with Japan’s projected fleet growth of 2% per annum over the next 20 years.