Cargo permit a boost for Rolls-Royce

Cargo permit a boost for Rolls-Royce

The time it takes to move an aircraft engine from Rolls-Royce's Seletar factory to Changi Airport for delivery has been slashed from a day and a half to just five hours, thanks to a cut in red tape.

In a pro-business initiative, the Singapore authorities have for the first time issued a long-term cargo permit to the British firm, which runs a $700 million facility at Seletar Aerospace park.

It means there is now no need for it to apply for police and other approvals for each engine shipment. The pass is valid for three months and can be renewed.

Rolls-Royce's Singapore- based regional director Jonathan Asherson said the benefits will be significant for the company.

Each giant engine has to be loaded onto a trailer at the Seletar factory and transported by road, with a police escort, to Changi Airport where it is then lifted into the cargo plane and secured for take-off.

By 2015, the Seletar facility will churn out 250 engines a year. With processing and delivery time to Changi Airport cut from 33 to five hours, the total time saved for 250 engines will add up to 7,000 hours.

Mr Asherson said: "That's almost the equivalent of 300 days saved per year, every year."

Less paperwork and product handling will also mean lower costs, he added.

The Seletar facility, which was officially opened early last year, produces engine fan blades for large aircraft. It is the first such Rolls-Royce plant outside England.

There is also a plant to assemble and test engines while regional training is carried out at the site.

The decision to issue the cargo permit was made jointly by different agencies including the police, Ministry of Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, said Changi Airport Group spokesman Ivan Tan.

He said: "The efficient cargo infrastructure at Changi Airport, customer-centric approach and firm support for aviation partners are strong value propositions that we believe put Changi in good stead as a competitive air cargo hub for all prospective partners."

The first engine produced at the Rolls-Royce plant - a Trent 900 which powers the Airbus 380 superjumbo - was delivered to Airbus in November last year.

The facility will churn out 50 engines this year and start producing the Trent 1000 for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner next year.

Staff numbers will grow from from more than 650 now to about 1,000 by 2015.

karam@sph.com.sg


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