New facilities opened at Pápa Air Base

26 May 2016

Over the next several weeks, NSPA’s NATO Airlift Management (NAM) Programme Office, the 12-nation Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW), and contractor Boeing staff will move into their new office building, warehouse/maintenance facility and the central utility building.

With the ribbon cutting ceremony held on 24 May, the NAM Programme Manager, Mr. Wiek Noldus, and HAW Vice-Commander, Col Bjørn Gohn-Hellum, officially opened the new buildings. This ceremony also marked the end of Phase 2 of the project. The third and last phase of the project, the new C-17 hangar building itself, is to be finished and occupied later this year.

“The SAC Hangar Complex project has been very well organized. A key person in this project was and is Mr Zsolt Bencze, the NAM Branch Chief of Infrastructure and Facility Management. He led the Working Group and brought together personnel from NSPA, several contractors and future users and delivered the project within scope, on time and within budget.” stated Mr Noldus. In addition, he highlighted that “An organization like SAC heavily depends on state-of-the-art IT equipment and services in support of the airlift operations. The NAM IT team led by Mr Robert Czigany are also doing a tremendous job”.

In 2013, the member nations approved the SAC Infrastructure Development Project, which provides permanent infrastructure for the entire lifespan of the program. As the 12 nations have committed to the SAC program for a minimum of 30 years, long-term investments are necessary. The total cost of the SAC Hangar Complex project is approximately 30 MEUR. The hangar building itself will be the first purpose-built C-17 hangar in Europe. “The opening of the permanent facilities is a significant milestone for the SAC and sets the program up well for the future with modern technological solutions incorporated to both reduce maintenance costs and enhance aircraft availability.” explained Mr. Noldus. A comprehensive facility management contract awarded to ATCO Frontec Europe Ltd will ensure tailored professional management of the facility. The contract has established 35 new jobs in Pápa and will provide long-term employment for many other companies both in Pápa and elsewhere in Hungary.

NSPA General Manager, Mr Mike Lyden, commemorates the NAM Branch Chief of Infrastructure and Facility Management, Mr Zsolt Bencze. Photo: HAW / Tuomas Saavalainen