LONDON – Responding to increased demand for the PC-24 and PC12 NGX turboprop aircraft, Pilatus Aircraft has opened a new state-of-the-art paint facility at its US Completions Centre in Broomfield, Colorado.
Pilatus executives, employees, industry partners and invited guests gathered to celebrate the official grand opening of the facility at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC). Attendees enjoyed a commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by facility tours.
The Broomfield Colorado plant
Pilatus have operated from the US Completions Centre in Colorado for more than 26 years. The new paint facility will open up another 25 job opportunities with further projected growth as the fleet and production continue to increase.
Thomas Bosshard, President and CEO of Pilatus US subsidiary, Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd, emphasised his delight in the rapid growth of the company during the grand opening, stating:
“We are proud to continue expanding our footprint and enhancing our workforce here in Colorado to meet the increased demand of the North and South American markets.”
More efficient and precise production
The Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd accounts for more than 60 percent of annual business aircraft sales and deliveries for the Swiss manufacturer. Their recent Colorado expansion will not only reduce logistical complexities and costs related to painting aircraft, but also decrease production time.
The 28,445 square foot (2,643 square metre) custom-designed facility features three separate booths, all equipped to efficiently prep and paint the PC-24 and PC-12 NGX from base to finish.
The Preparation and Detail Booth will primarily be used to prepare aircraft for paint, while also facilitating detailing, touch ups and silk screen printing of placards.
The Crossdraft Booth will serve as the primary booth for base to finish aircraft painting. The Downdraft Booth is uniquely designed for green to finish painting as well as intricate base to finish paint schemes of the PC-24 and PC-12 NGX.
With production and personnel at capacity, the paint facility is forecasted to complete up to 100 aircraft on an annual basis – the first aircraft is scheduled to deliver as early as this month.
Innovative and sustainable practices
Each of the paint booths is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including a 3D laser projector to optimise efficiency and precision. The paint shop environment is controlled via an advanced control system. Air-sealed doors and an advanced filtration system allow for complete environmental control while processing and recycling used materials.
“Efficiency, innovation and environmental impact were the guiding principles during the design phase”, explains Bosshard. “This investment allows Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd to manage and maintain the high-quality standards and procedures set by our Swiss parent company.”
Founded in 1939, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is the only Swiss company to develop, produce and sell aircraft to customers around the world – from the legendary Pilatus Porter PC-6 to the best-selling single-engine turboprop in its class, the PC-12, and the PC-21, the training system of the future.
The latest aircraft is the PC-24 – the world’s first ever business jet for use on short unprepared runways.