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Old 4th May 2020, 11:32 AM
Greg Hyde Greg Hyde is offline
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The Alice transformed into a $3bn aircraft wonderland

As the coronavirus crisis turns *cities into ghost towns with quiet streets and empty skies, one of the country’s most remote places is thriving.

For weeks now there has been a steady stream of gleaming new *arrivals in Alice Springs, from Fokker 100s to A380s, all seeking a temporary home in Australia’s dry and dusty Red Centre. Their destination is Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage set on 100ha at Alice Springs Airport.

Far from being a “plane boneyard” where aircraft are broken up for parts and scrapped, APAS provides around-the-clock maintenance for the jets until their airline or leasing company owners want them back.

Alongside grounded Boeing 737 Max 8s belonging to Silk Air and Fiji Airways sit four Singapore Airlines A380s and three 777s; four Scoot A320s, two NokScoot 777s and three Fokkers from Alliance Airlines. Their combined worth is estimated to be more than $3bn and more planes are on their way, as a result of the global health pandemic that has forced thousands of aircraft out of the sky.

While APAS could be seen as capitalising on the crisis, managing director Tom Vincent said it was not some overnight success story.

“This business I set up 10 years ago. We’ve been quietly working away to gain all the regulatory *approvals to maintain the aircraft and a lot of time and capital that has gone into that,” he said.

“Had we not done that, we wouldn’t have been able to capitalise on the current situation. We’ve always built everything so that we can manage rapid expansion.”

Mr Vincent expects to have a dozen storage roads on the site by the end of June after fast-tracking his planned stage two and three expansions.

The new infrastructure will provide capacity for up to 100 aircraft and, judging by demand, that will be quickly snapped up.

“If you’re in this, you love aviation and it is dreadful to see the industry hurt so much,” Mr Vincent said.

“But we’re here to provide a service and it’s a service that’s valued by our customers and we’re happy to be supporting them.”

Notably absent from the site are hundreds of grounded Qantas and Virgin Australia aircraft that have instead been parked at airports around the country.

The only exception is one Qantas 747, which has been sent to California’s Mojave Desert for what is expected to be an early retirement.

Alice Springs Airport manager Dave Batic said the aircraft storage centre was not only creating additional employment for the area, it was a tourist drawcard.

“Out of every crisis there’s an opportunity, and this is an opportunity not just for Alice Springs and the Northern Territory but Australia itself,” he said.

“This could potentially be the world’s biggest aircraft storage *facility. We’d support that expansion.”

Mr Batic said Alice Springs had the advantage of space, with more than 35 square kilometres of airport land.

“We also have a fully internationally capable airfield and that goes back to the Pine Gap days,” he said.

“We do thank the Americans for requiring a larger runway to fit their military aircraft.”
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Old 29th May 2020, 04:06 PM
Greg Hyde Greg Hyde is offline
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Shots of ASP parking

More of the same as photo shown in Latest AA
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Old 29th May 2020, 06:14 PM
Todd Hendry Todd Hendry is offline
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Location: Kirrawee
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I’ll try to get some pics next Thursday and or Friday. I’m operating the QF858/ QF859.
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Henry Ford.
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