C-17 Hangar Complex Foundation Stone Ceremony at Pápa Air Base

21 April 2015

The foundation stone was laid for the multinational Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) Hangar Complex facilities during a ceremony on 20 April at Pápa Air Base, Hungary. The Hangar Complex is the most significant part of the SAC Infrastructure Development Plan being carried out by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency on behalf of the 12 SAC member nations.

The complex will consist of a C-17 size aircraft maintenance hangar, maintenance facilities and an office building. The facilities, with an area of approximately 20,000 square meters, offer permanent operating facilities to the operational unit, the Heavy Airlift Wing, and the agency’s NATO Airlift Management (NAM) Programme, the support organization, who collectively provide strategic airlift for the SAC member nations.

During the ceremony SAC was represented by the leadership of the SAC organizations and the contractor KÉSZ Building and Construction Plc. Colonel Frank Rombouts, the Commander of the Heavy Airlift Wing thanked the SAC organizations and KÉSZ for excellent cooperation in the infrastructure development project. ”The new facilities will be much more modern than the current interim ones we are using: they will be equipped with a much faster IT Infrastructure, green utilities and have all SAC units located closer to each another, making communication easier”, according to Colonel Rombouts.

Mr. Wiek Noldus, NAM Programme Manager, highlighted, “This construction is a very strong commitment, a commitment of 12 nations to maintain the SAC program for at least 25 more years and to remain at Pápa Air Base. But all that is not done in isolation. Our host nation, Hungary has already invested in improved facilities on-base and we are following very closely the encouraging developments that might result in further investments within and outside of the base, such as the development of Road 83, which will strongly support the use of Pápa Air Base as a multimodal transport hub.” elaborated Mr Noldus.

During the celebration a time capsule, a keepsake of the SAC members’ memories of today and expectations for the future of the Programme was placed in the foundation stone. It will be opened 25 years from now.