03.07.2015

First sod in the construction of new wheel and brake shop

60 million euros to be invested in Germany

Start of construction of Lufthansa Technik AG's new wheel and brake workshop at Frankfurt's East Harbor: Dr. Johannes Bussmann, Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Technik AG, turned the first sod together with Bernhard Massberg, Head of Mobility, Aviation, Railways in the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development (HMWEVL) and City Councilor Markus Frank, Frankfurt's Economic Affairs Officer as well as Karl Ulrich Garnadt, Member of the Board of Lufthanas Group and CEO of Lufthansa German Airlines.

The company is investing just under 60 million euros in the new production facility, which fulfills all requirements for lean production, an ergonomic working environment and sustainability in terms of how the building has been developed and will be operated. The planned building technology will enable the requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance to be exceeded by 30 percent. A separate combined heat and power plant, for example, will be constructed for this purpose. Even the waste heat from the machines will be used intelligently for air conditioning the building.

The new facility will be put into service at the beginning of 2017. It will enable Lufthansa Technik, as the world's leading provider of technical services for the aviation industry, to continue to grow in the segment of wheel and brake overhaul. Lufthansa Technik is thus securing the 130 qualified jobs that already exist in Frankfurt and is also creating opportunities for further growth. The most recent figures showed growth rates at more than 3 percent per annum based on the volume of serviced wheels and brakes.

An ultra-modern workshop with a gross floor area of 14,500 sqm will be built on a 35,000 sqm plot. Thanks to optimized processes fully adapted to maintenance requirements, tailored logistics and state-of-the-art plant equipment, the new site enables the cost-effective supply of wheels and brakes for flight operations for Lufthansa and numerous other European customers into the future. And while business with low-cost carriers is already strong, it opens up opportunities for even further growth in this area too.

Dr. Johannes Bussmann, Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Technik AG: "Even today we operate one of the largest maintenance workshop for aircraft wheels and brakes anywhere in the world. We expect even more efficient processes under excellent working conditions with the new facility, which we are quite intentionally building in Frankfurt, Germany. I am certain we will succeed in growing from the current figure of 26,000 serviced wheels and 4,500 serviced brakes annually to 32,000 and 6,000 units respectively in the coming years."

Bernhard Massberg, Head of Mobility, Aviaton, Railways in the HMWEVL: "The aviation industry is of great economic importance for the Rhine-Main region and for the whole of Hesse. Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the largest employer in Hesse. The range of services offered by the Lufthansa Group is tremendously diverse as we can see here. Especially in what are seen as very challenging times economically for airline companies, the regional government welcomes the commitment of Lufthansa Technik, which through its investment here in Frankfurt will secure the existing 130 jobs and potentially lead to further growth. Likewise welcome is the intention to establish and operate the production facility with particular attention to energy efficiency."

The existing workshop at Frankfurt airport has long exceeded its capacity limit, having been designed originally for 15,000 wheels and 2,500 brakes annually.

Considerable effort is invested in the maintenance of aircraft wheels and brakes owing to their importance for the safety of aircraft operations. Lufthansa Technik takes care of all the necessary work – from wheel or brake changes to small repairs or complete overhauls of a wheel or brake. Every wheel or brake passes through numerous stations until, after a thorough check in accordance with internationally applicable aviation laws, it is approved in the final inspection.