Company Says It Looks Forward To The Future With Confidence
The Romanian aerospace company Aerostar S.A celebrated its 60th anniversary Wednesday, continuing its progress of steady diversification and growth into the commercial aviation sector. It still, however, retains its position as a first rank supplier to the Romanian Ministry of Defense.
Today, Aerostar is a maintenance and overhaul company for a range of both commercial and military aircraft, employing 1800 people, as well as being an established producer of aerostructures, components and assemblies for the global supply chain. It holds both EASA Part 21 approval for aviation manufacturing and Part 145 approval for MRO.
Aerostar now derives some 70 percent of its turnover from the commercial aviation sector, accounted for by manufacture of aerostructures, landing gears and hydraulic systems and commercial aviation MRO activities.
The original business was created on April 17, 1953 when it was established as the Central Aviation Workshop or Uzina de Reparatii Avioane (URA) based at Bacau in northern Romania. The purpose of the enterprise was to provide for the repair and overhaul of Romanian Air Force fighter and trainer aircraft and also the manufacture of spares, tooling, and special equipment. Since that time the business has been responsible for the maintenance of some 3,500 front-line aircraft and 6,000 engines, starting with the earliest Russian-designed jet fighters and culminating in the MiG-21 and MiG-29 fighters.
Aerostar was also the prime contractor, working alongside Elbit Systems of Israel in the late 1990s, for the major upgrade and conversion programme for 110 MiG-21 Lancer fighters which today are the mainstay of the Romanian Air Force inventory. The company has also carried out conversion and overhaul work for the MiG-21 for a number of overseas customers.
Aerostar was the sole manufacturer under licence from the Yakovlev Design Bureau of Russia, of the Yak-52 piston trainer aircraft that was used extensively by Eastern European air forces – some 1900 aircraft were built over a 30-year period. Aerostar also later developed westernized versions of this aircraft with updated avionics and a tail wheel undercarriage for the warbirds market.
In June 1991, the business was re-organised as a joint stock company named Aerostar S.A. and since 1998 Aerostar’s shares have been traded on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. The company was privatized in February 2000.
From December 2004, Aerostar has diversified into commercial aircraft MRO for the Boeing 737 Classic and New Generation, and has since completed more than 200 ‘C’ and ‘D’ checks for over 20 airlines from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. It also has approvals for the Airbus A320 family, the BAe 146/Avro RJ regional jetliner and the Rolls-Royce M250 turboshaft engine.