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October 2005 edition

BAe 146 Life Extension Programme completed

By Dave Clifford & Andrew Gamper

BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has completed a Life Extension Programme for the BAe 146 that will enable the aircraft to continue operations for at least another 20 years.

Around 390 BAe 146s and its successor the Avro RJ aircraft were built over a 20-year period between 1981-2001. It remains one of the quietest airliners in service, according to Regional Aircraft, meeting both Stage Three and Stage Four noise limits. The company believes that the aircraft will remain highly competitive economically and also environmentally acceptable for many years to come, which is why it embarked on the programme.

As well as keeping the aircraft in service for longer, life extension programmes can in turn lead to increased revenue from spares and support services and from leasing out the aircraft when otherwise their service lives would end. Older aircraft that are taken out of service can be turned into Christmas trees for spares and this could have a potentially detrimental effect on the OEM's spares provision service.

Furthermore, there are many airlines in the world that cannot afford to buy or lease brand new aircraft and for them the option of having a useful, affordable and compliant older aircraft can be a very attractive proposition, at least until they earn enough revenue to be able to upgrade to more modern equipment.

As BAE Systems no longer manufactures aircraft, the LEP is a valuable means of keeping its revenue streams going so keeping a competitive and current aircraft relev....

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