Freighter conversion base to open at Incheon International Airport
Incheon International Airport Corporation today signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Aviation Group and Sharp Technics K to establish a passenger to freighter (P2F) conversion site in South Korea.
The facility at Incheon International Airport will specialise in converting Boeing 777-ERSF (Big Twin) from passenger to freighter aircraft from 2024.
Within the framework of the agreement, IAI will initially convert six B777-300ER, and a B777-200LR per year, with the deal providing scope for the agreement to be expanded to twin-aisle freighter heavy maintenance additionally.
According to the South Korean gateway, establishing more P2F aircraft conversion facilities around the world is necessary in order to meet the expected rise in demand for wide-body freighter aircraft with capacity for long-haul flights.
All converted freighters at the IIAC site will be exported to express shipping service providers. It is anticipated that the aggregated export value from the first conversion release in 2024 to 2040 will reach to about $1 billion and about 2,100 new jobs will be created in the same period.
The conversion site is expected to drive the local and national economy stimulation as a new growth engine generating high added value.
In particular, as the freighter conversion technology which is considered as one of the most advanced technologies in aircraft maintenance is to be transferred to STK based in Korea, the business will be a turning point for Korean MOR industry to gain the global competitiveness.
In addition, says IIAC, if Korean aircraft part manufacturers supply conversion components which take up 50% of the total conversion cost, the business will “greatly contribute to achieving mutual growth with Korean MRO industry and enhancing its competitiveness”.
Gyeong-wook Kim, president and CEO of Incheon International Airport Corporation, said: “By attracting the first overseas production base of IAI’s large-sized cargo aircraft to the Incheon Airport MRO cluster, which exclusively possesses the technology for retrofitting Boeing’s large passenger aircraft, we will grow together and contribute greatly to the development of the national and regional economy.
“Based on the world-class air transportation infrastructure of Incheon International Airport, we will continue to attract world-class aviation MRO companies to Incheon Airport. We plan to contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the Korean aviation industry.”
The signing ceremony was attended by Yosef Melamed, president of Aviation Group of IAI, Soon-seok Paik, CEO of Sharp Technics K and His Excellency, Akiva Tor, Israeli Ambassador to Korea.