A ground breaking ceremony has been held at Norwich Airport to officially mark the start of construction on the UK gateway's new maintenance hangar and workshop.
The new 54,000sqft hangar and 15,500sqft workshop will be capable of simultaneously accommmodating two Boeing 737 aircraft, and ensure the expansion of KLM UK engineering group at the Norfolk airport.
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KLM UK engineering provides maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to a growing list of global customers from the airport, which is operated by Regional City Airports on behalf of owners, Rigby Group plc.
The new addition to the airport's infrastructure has been designed by UK architectural practice, Stephen George + Partners (SGP).
SGP chairman, Ian Yallop, says: "We have been able to apply our extensive experience of large and small-scale industrial units to the project at Norwich Airport, to create a facility that meets KLM UK's engineering needs as well as reinforcing Norwich Airport's position as a leader in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.
"The design of this type of project is very technical and requires a detailed knowledge of airport operations.
"CAA requirements are focused on safeguarding flights and we had to think in a new way – working from the sky downwards and taking into account a range of variables including radar requirements, wind shear and navigation systems.
"The workshop is 7.5 metres to its haunch and the hangar 13 metres and will be constructed using a Twin-Therm wall system, with Euroclad cladding, profiled to break up radar bounce back.
"This is an important milestone for SGP and although we have worked on several masterplans and designs for other regional and national airports, this is the first that has reached construction stage. We are looking forward to expanding this new and fascinating sector."