Brazilian Airline Gol has finished the expansion work on its Aircraft Maintenance Center, in Confins, Minas Gerais, where the company carries out heavy airframe maintenance, preventive maintenance, aircraft painting and the internal configuration of the entire Gol and Varig fleet.
The expansion, which began in 2008, added a hangar, offices, storage areas, support areas and an expanded ramp area to the existing maintenance facility.
“The first construction phase of our Maintenance Center began in 2005, when the facility was able to service 60 aircraft. With the end of the second phase we are now able to service up to 120 aircraft a year,” said captain Fernando Rockert de Magalhães, Gol’s Technical Vice-President. “Today the center is a pinnacle of technological excellence, the largest and most advanced in Latin America.”
Gol invested 65 million reais (US$ 36.3 million) in the expansion, which added 28,100 m² to the already 17,500 m² facility, raising the total area to 45,600 m², dedicated solely to maintenance and support. The ramp, which originally measured 27,000 m², was also expanded and now covers 47,000 m², while the usable area within the hangars is now 107,220 m².
“We are seeking certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the agency responsible for civil aviation regulation in the U.S.,” declared Constantino de Oliveira Junior, Gol’s CEO, “With this certification, we will be able to serve international airlines, which will generate significant additional revenue for Gol.”
In addition to benefiting Gol, the Maintenance Center has contributed to the development of the Belo Horizonte metropolitan area since its original inauguration.
Since 2005, 350 direct jobs for technicians from various levels, as well as engineers and supervisors, have been created, along with an additional 70 indirect jobs.
In addition, the Center is integrated into the surrounding community; nearly 40 volunteer employees develop sporting, artistic and cultural projects for 150 children at the Espaço Criança, located in the former Febem Feminina headquarters in Lagoa Santa (Minas Gerais).
Gol’s Maintenance Center, the company says, meets all the required conditions for environmental licensing and is in accordance with all current legislation, thanks to a team made up of chemical engineers, sanitation experts and chemists, among others.
All liquid chemical and oil waste generated by aircraft maintenance or painting is sent to specialized treatment facilities.
Gol also has an advanced Chemical Effluent Treatment Center that receives all water from the washing of aircraft, parts, floors, maintenance hand basins and the medical center. After being treated, the water is reused inside the Maintenance Center to wash floors, equipment and non-metallic materials.
Effluents are subjected to constant physical and chemical analysis, in order to improve treatment and aid environmental groups in their monitoring of the facility.
Due to the expansion of the Center, the treatment system has tripled. All dangerous and non-inert materials are sent for incineration, in accordance with environmental legislation and Brazilian Standard Institute (ABNT) norms (NBR 10004). All other waste, informs Gol, is correctly disposed of with the approval of the responsible environmental organization.
Gol offers more than 860 daily flights to 50 destinations in Brazil and ten major destinations in South America and Caribbean. The Company operates a fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft.