Oscar Peralta Navarrete
President
Grupo GMI
/
View from the Top

Precast Units Revolutionize Hangars

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 19:22

Q: What are Grupo GMI’s main products for aviation?

A: Grupo GMI has created two divisions for the industry. The first, ATS, handles the construction of hangars for lease in Queretaro. The demand for these hangars has been extremely high as aircraft owners request safe and comfortable storage systems. Our second aviation division is the construction of maintenance hangars, which are much more advanced in terms of technology and have all the necessary capabilities to provide MRO services, including special electric and fire systems that can identify the exact location of a fire to extinguish it in seconds.

Airplane hangars require several specific services for aircraft storage and maintenance, such as fire systems and either automatic hangar doors or light, easy to open manual hangar doors. Manual doors are common in Mexico and if they get stuck, they require heavy equipment to open and close them. Our manual doors, on the other hand, can be opened one-handed. GMI’s hangars do not require welding at any point, permitting the construction of precast units in very short times, and allowing easy transportation to their final destination.

Q: What innovative projects is Grupo GMI developing for the aviation industry?

A: We recently finished two projects in Monterrey, one for Beechcraft and another for Aerolíneas Ejecutivas, and we plan to develop a third hangar with the latter company. We are also developing projects in Cancun, Colombia and Panama. In El Salvador we constructed a maintenance hangar for Aeroman, one of the largest MROs in Latin America that services all of Volaris’ fleet. We used our experience in the construction of this hangar to win a tender with Avianca for the construction of a maintenance center in Medellin, Colombia, which was opened this year. The hangar was constructed in only one and a half years and is the widest open hangar space in Latin America when measuring its ground coverage without structural support columns. All of the materials for this hangar were manufactured in Mexico and transported to Medellin in containers. Avianca was extremely satisfied with this hangar so now we are developing a second one for it.

 

A: The design process usually takes between three and four months because the hangars have to be planned for projected airplane acquisitions over the next 10 years. The hangars are designed alongside international advisers with many years of experience in the industry to optimize the capabilities of every hangar. We also can adapt designs from parent companies and implement them in Mexico. Once the project is conceived and designed its implementation takes only six months, half the time our competition takes. Another advantage is that our panels are finished at the manufacturing plant and only need assembling at the final destination. There is no need for specialized labor at the final destination, foundations are much lighter and the hangars require no maintenance for 10 years, not even painting.

Our hangars are unique in that they can be disassembled and moved wherever the company needs them, allowing for 70 percent of the structure to be recycled. This is an advantage as most MROs construct hangars on leased terrain, which is granted to them for a specific time period, after which they may have to move to a different location.

Q: What are your projections both for Grupo GMI and the aerospace industry in the next few years?

A: This is highly dependent on the sociopolitical environment. However, if we continue on this same path I am certain we will see enormous growth. In the next five years, I hope to see Grupo GMI as leaders in the construction of hangars in all of Latin America. The aviation industry is very well connected, such that thanks to our work with TechOps and Aeroméxico we were selected to implement a new project in the Philippines. We manufacture 65 percent of all hangars in our plant in Queretaro and the quality of our products speaks for itself.

Aviation is one of the fastest growing business areas worldwide and the number of existing aircraft is expected to double in the next 12 years. Maintenance centers also will have to double, especially since low oil prices are allowing airlines and private parties to renew their fleets.