A GLOBAL aviation company says it has won £90millon in long-term contracts and brought two commercial airlines to Bournemouth Airport for maintenance since moving to the site last year.

Gama Aviation PLC was due to formally open its 135,000sqft facility at Hurn today.

Its decision to move its maintenance facilities to Bournemouth Airport, closing sites at Farnborough and Oxford, was a boost to owner Regional & City Airports’ plans to grow operations there.

Scott McVicar, managing director for Gama’s ground division in Europe, said: “We originally moved to Bournemouth in August after discontinuing and closing our maintenance facilities in Farnborough and Oxford.

“Since the move, we have won long-term contracts of more than £90m, brought two commercial airlines to Bournemouth for maintenance and are building a strong corporate jet and turbo prop maintenance business.

“This is a good start, but we will increasingly ramp up our capabilities to meet the demands coming from civil aviation, business aviation, defence sectors, air ambulance and law enforcement.”

Gama says the market in business aviation MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) is consolidating and it is set to become one of the largest global independent maintenance networks.

Dr McVicar said: “Our Bournemouth facility is fully integrated into a network that incorporates 14 US, six UK, two European, one Middle East, two Asian sites and four associated sites in Australia.

“The specialisms, experience and capability we have here make it a keystone location, to which the network is already driving heavy maintenance business, particularly from the Middle East.”

Gama has been holding its biannual global leadership conference at the airport. The event was due to culminate today in the formal opening of the hangar.

Dr McVicar said: “We signed a 25-year lease and have committed ourselves to Bournemouth. We expect this to be a win-win for our business, the ecosystem surrounding the airport, the economies of the surrounding area and the £1.4billion that advanced engineering and manufacturing adds to Dorset’s economy.”