Location and Facilities
Biggest in the world
The Emirates Engineering Centre is among the most impressive civil aviation maintenance facilities in the world. The Dhs1.3-billion (US$353-million) Engineering Centre occupies a 55-hectare (136 acres) site on the north side of Dubai International Airport. Its eight hangars (including the new paint hangar) form the largest free-spanned structures in the Middle East, with roofs supported by 110-metre long single spans.
The centre is capable of servicing Emirates’ existing fleet, as well as the additional aircraft presently on order and any third party maintenance it contracts to undertake.
The centre's seven fully air-conditioned hangars for heavy and light maintenance, each measuring 110m x 105m - more than twice the size of a soccer field - together with a paint hangar, cover more than nine hectares (22 acres) or an area equivalent to 17 soccer fields.
Each hangar has an entrance gate 88m wide and every bay can accommodate aircraft of any size, including the Airbus A380, which is 73m long with an 80m wingspan and a tail 24m high. The hangars have almost the same dimensions as the A380 facilities specially constructed by Airbus in Toulouse to assemble the giant aircraft.
Each hangar has a mezzanine docking system for access to the aircraft, while four of the centre's seven hangars are equipped with full automated fuselage docking systems designed to provide full access for engineering staff to carry out heavy maintenance.
All hangars, as well as selected workshops, are equipped with roof-mounted cranes. Whilst the new Aircraft Painting facility is equipped with 6 Telescopic access platforms providing access for the staff to paint aircraft.
All the services needed in the hangars, including air conditioning and electrical power, are housed underground. When needed, consoles are raised from the floor. This avoids potential accidents caused by trailing wires and ducting across the hangar floor.
Sections of the hangar facades and roofs are finished in extruded polycarbonate panels, which are light in weight and translucent, improving the working environment by providing natural light. Outside the hangars, the Engineering Centre has nine dedicated aircraft parking bays, a number of which have electrical power and some with facilities for refuelling
Aircraft spares and equipment worth billions of Dirhams are stocked in environmentally controlled warehouses and handled by using semi-automated storage and retrieval equipment. Emirates Engineering Stores & Logistics section operates 24/7 and is also responsible for managing the spares at the outstations and providing the AOG materials support through out the EK network world-wide. Inventory is managed by using a modern computerized materials management system.
On-wing testing of engines will be done in an engine run-up bay within surrounding 15-metre-high acoustic walls, ensuring that the jet blast is directed safely upwards and engine noise is reduced to the surrounding areas.
Emirates Engineering have additionally completed the commissioning of an Engine Test Cell, which is located 40 kms from the airport. Here, engines with thrusts up to 115,000 pounds are tested following maintenance work. This facility is capable of handling engines with future growth to 150,000 pounds of thrust, which makes it one of only two facilities in the world that can accommodate such power ratings.
Facilities for staff include a canteen, a coffee shop, a gym and an auditorium. Staff also enjoy covered, moving walkways between the car park and the hangars.
Wireless communication throughout the centre allows engineers to access technical documentation via laptops in close proximity to the aircraft under maintenance.
Below ground, a two-kilometre-long, 15-metre-wide service tunnel provides fire-fighting water, electrical power and the communications network.
The huge dimension of the site, adjoining the Dubai Airport Free Zone, makes moving quickly from one part of the facility to another a serious challenge. The use of tricycles, golf carts and even Segway® Human Transporters have all been introduced to achieve speedy and safe movement.
In addition to stores, workshops, an office block and multi-storey parking for 2,000 cars, the centre includes a security building and the Emirates Training School, which has been relocated from its former home at Emirates Aviation College.