OGMA Ready for Centenary Anniversary

Some of the diverse aircraft types that OGMA provides MRO services for including the Airbus A320, P-3 C-130 and F-16B.

Portugal’s OGMA will celebrate 100 years of service in 2018 with current responsibilities including its civil role as an Embraer service centre as well as military MRO to the Portuguese Air Force.

On the 29 June 2017, the Oficinas Gerais de Material Aeronáutico (OGMA) celebrated 99 years of existence and it aims to continue to play an active role in the evolution of aviation and aeronautics in Portugal.

OGMA was founded as part of the reorganization of the Portuguese Army’s Aeronautic Service in June 29, 1918, under the name Parque de Material Aeronáutico (Aeronautics Material Depot), with the responsibility of storing, repairing, manufacturing, and providing aeronautical material, as well as training to military aeronautic specialists and technicians. It was based at Alverca in the outskirts of Lisbon on the banks of the Tagus River where a military air base was built in 1918 that later served as the first international airport in Portugal until Lisbon Portela Airport opened in 1942. However in 1928 the Aeronautics Material Depot was renamed Oficinas Gerais de Material Aeronáutico (OGMA).

Today OGMA (Industria Aeronautica de Portugal S.A.) has 140,000 sq/m of covered facilities at Alverca, including 10 maintenance hangars, aerostructure manufacturing facilities, a large engine overhaul shop and a new paint hangar that was opened in February 2017. It has the use of a 3,000m runway and control tower that are operated by the Força Aérea Portuguesa (Portuguese Air Force) for around the clock operations.

A new era in the company’s history started in 2003 when the Portuguese government took a decision to privatise the company while retaining 35 percent of the shares and private ownership, with the Brazilian company Embraer owning the remaining 65 percent of the company share capital. Today MRO services for commercial, executive and defense aviation, engines, components and engineering account for 71 percent of OGMA’s total business volume.

OGMA is an established authorized maintenance centre for a number of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), including Lockheed Martin, Airbus, and Rolls-Royce. As a service provider in the aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) field, OGMA holds extensive experience in defence aviation. This includes intermediate and heavy maintenance, engine and component maintenance, avionics upgrades, major structural repairs, fieldwork teams, aircraft recovery and airworthiness management (CAMO). it is certified as a FAR 145 and EASA 145 repair station, with AQAP 2110 and ISO 9001-2008 Quality Management.

The OGMA facility at Alverca on the banks of the River Tagus River in the outskirts of Lisbon.
The OGMA facility at Alverca on the banks of the River Tagus River in the outskirts of Lisbon.

In 1998, OGMA became the first Embraer Authorised Service Centre (EASC) in the world for the ERJ135/140/145 aircraft types. With an established capability to provide integrated services, it is the main independent EASC in Europe and has carried out over 350 C Checks on this aircraft family in addition to other maintenance and repair tasks. In it role as a ‘one-stop-shop’, it also features an Authorised Maintenance Centre (AMC) for Rolls-Royce AE3007 engines providing technical assistance teams in the field.

With Embraer as its major shareholder, the strategy has been to support all Embraer commercial jet products and OGMA has been an EASC for the ERJ-170/190 E-Jet family since the first aircraft arrived in Europe. It is also an important service provider in the A320 market by guaranteeing a complete overhaul service for both engines and components. Established to meet the special requirements of executive jet operators, the OGMA Executive Jets Centre was developed featuring a fully equipped hangar, workshops and reception rooms. It provides heavy maintenance, warranty repairs, engine services and fleet management. Dedicated services are offered to Embraer Legacy 600/650 and Lineage 1000, Airbus ACJ and Dassault Falcon 50 operators.

In the defence sector, OGMA is responsible for maintenance of the Portuguese Air Force (POAF) fleet of F-16 fighter aircraft and their Mid-Life Update (MLU) programme. The upgrade of 16 single-seat A-models and four two-seat B-models included new avionics and a cockpit upgrade. In 2013 nine POAF F-16 MLU aircraft were sold to Romania plus three former USAF aircraft that were upgraded to F-16 MLU standard by OGMA prior to transfer to Romania.

Since 1982 OGMA has been providing a wide range of maintenance services and upgrades to different P-3 Orion operators including the POAF. Product specific services include major structural repairs, life extension programmes and structural life extension.

OGMA has more than 35 years of continuous experience with the C-130/L-100 Hercules aircraft and has been a fully authorised Lockheed Martin Service Centre for the type since 1982. The Alverca facility has up to 12 maintenance bays available and has carried out more than 600 C-130A/B/H Hercules aircraft inspections to date. Programmed Depot Maintenance (PDM) and Isochronal (ISO) checks which involve the examination and maintenance of the entire airframe to increase the overall performance and safety, are carried out in accordance with the USAF Technical Order (TO) system.

Major structural repairs include wing refurbishment/replacement and OGMA has an In-house capability for overhauling the T56/501D turboprop engine and the C-130J’s Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3. It also carries out the repair, overhaul, modification, upgrade and testing of the Hercules Hamilton Sundstread 54H60 series propellers and Goodrich landing gear. Additionally the aerostructure division manufactures C-130J engine nacelle doors and wing trailing edge panels.

OGMA’s defence customer portfolio comprises 24 air forces worldwide, many of them C-130 operators, one of its largest being the French Air Force’s C-130H fleet. OGMA also has a fieldwork team deployed to France’s Base Aérienne 188 in Djibouti which carries out deep maintenance, including the dynamic and mechanical testing of the main rotor head, of the French Air Force and Army SA330 Puma helicopters. On the Swedish Air Force C-130, OGMA is also currently performing a series of retrofits. It has C-130 MRO contracts with no less than seven African air forces, including the Cameroon Air Force’s three C-130H aircraft, which play a pivotal role in the countries military operations against Boko Haram. All are maintained by OGMA and the air force also contracted former POAF Hercules pilot instructors.

Top: An Embraer Legacy undergoing maintenance in the OGMA Executive Jets Centre.  Above: OGMA engineers work on a C-130’s T56 turboprop engines.
Top: An Embraer Legacy undergoing maintenance in the OGMA Executive Jets Centre.
Above: OGMA engineers work on a C-130’s T56 turboprop engines.
Embraer ERJ-145 regional airliners and an Airbus ACJ A318 outside of OGMA’s maintenance hangars at Alverca.
Embraer ERJ-145 regional airliners and an Airbus ACJ A318 outside of OGMA’s maintenance hangars at Alverca.
The extensive C-130 maintenance hangars at Alverca with Niger and French Air Force Hercules in the foreground.
The extensive C-130 maintenance hangars at Alverca with Niger and French Air Force Hercules in the foreground.

A Gabon Air Force L100-20 has presented OGMA with one of its most demanding challenges to date. The 1976-built L100-20 aircraft was transported to Portugal at the end of 2015 since when it was subjected to an in-depth inspection and disassembled. OGMA’s director of defence maintenance, Jorge Palma, told AVM that the work involved to get the aircraft airworthy will include the installation of new avionics and a glass cockpit, as well as the replacement of several structural parts. The company expects the modifications and rebuild will take almost a year to complete. The customer has been advised of the cost of the work required and a final decision on the fate of the aircraft is expected by the end of September.

OGMA is well established in component MRO activity, specializing in hydraulic and electromechanical component maintenance, and some specific components in particular such as C-130 and P-3 Orion propellers, pump and valve housings, AC Generators, landing gears and brakes. Maintenance services are also provided for the Eurocopter SA330 Puma including main rotor head and main rotor and tail rotor repairs and dynamic balancing, as well as providing full in service support (FISS) in partnership with AgustaWestland for the AW101 helicopter, both of which are operated by the POAF.

Embraer selected OGMA to provide in-house or on-site support to its Tucano/Super-Tucano family of training/light attack aircraft, with solutions ranging from the lighter maintenance checks to avionics upgrades and full fleet support. OGMA also maintains Embraer’s EMB-312 Super Tucano demonstrator aircraft for the Middle East and Africa at Alverca.