A Dublin based aviation services company has confirmed plans to establish a new base at Shannon Airport for its Hercules aircraft operations.
ASL Aviation Group plans to initially base two L-100 aircraft at Shannon as well as crews and support staff for the fleet.
The LM-100J is the civil-certified version of Lockheed Martin’s proven C-130J Super Hercules and is an updated version of the L-100 (or L-382) cargo aircraft. Safair, an ASL company based in South Africa, currently operates one of the world’s largest L-100 fleets.
The planes are used on missions ranging from oil-spill response to humanitarian aid. Some of the company’s planes are currently undertaking missions for the UN and International Red Cross.
The decision by ASL to base the aircraft at Shannon follows the signing of a Letter of Intent with aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin at the Farnborough Air Show to order up to 10 LM-100J commercial freighter aircraft. The intention is to progressively transition these new aircraft into the fleet, replacing the older models.
ASL Aviation Group CEO Mr Hugh Flynn said: “We take pride in our L-100 fleet, and we eagerly look forward to our future as LM-100J operators. We are also very happy to be announcing Shannon as a new L-100 base. Shannon is already an important base for ASL and we look forward to growing our activity there in the months and years ahead.”
Shannon Airport Chairman Rose Hynes said: “ASL is already a valued partner for Shannon Airport, and we are delighted that ASL has now selected Shannon as a new base for its L-100 Hercules operations.”
“Shannon is a cost-effective and efficient base for specialist aircraft, such as these, that fly important missions to curb pollution and transport humanitarian aid. We’re proud to welcome them, and we’re committed to helping ASL develop at Shannon,” she added.
The move is seen as another positive early gain for the airports plans to develop an International Aviation Services Centre at Shannon.
“We plan to grow Shannon as an aviation centre of excellence, building on the aviation related activities already located in the Shannon Free Zone area,” Rose Hynes added.
Air Contractors, an ASL Group company, already has its own maintenance base at the airport where maintenance work is carried out in its Boeing 757 fleet which operates Aer Lingus’ transatlantic services.
Work is also carried out at Shannon on the company’s ATR fleet of aircraft.