JAC is a trump card for Jordan
Jon Lake looks at the Jordan Aeronautical System Company (JAC), the Jordanian approved maintenance organisation (AMO) operating from Marka Airport, a joint civil/military airfield in Amman.
JAC specialises in providing support for Royal Jordanian Air Force C-130 aircraft, for Boeing 737 operators in the region, and for locally based AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters.
The country’s central, strategic position gives JAC access to a number of potential customers and clients, and the company is also the beneficiary of Jordan’s long-standing political and economic stability.
Marka was built by the British and was RAF Amman from 1922 until 1948, when the Arab Legion Air Force was established. The facilities were shared until 1957, when the RAF handed control over to the RJAF.
Marka was the Royal Jordanian Air Force’s main fighter base for many years and also served as Jordan’s main civil airport until Queen Alia International Airport opened in 1983.
Today, Marka is Amman’s main civil charter and VIP airport, with a military enclave, known as King Abdullah Air Base, housing the RJAF General Headquarters as well as an air lift wing consisting of Nos 3, 7, 8 and 14 squadrons and the Royal Squadron (Jordan’s VIP transport unit), plus elements of the Prince Hashim Bin Abdullah II Royal Aviation Brigade – a dedicated special operations support unit.
The base also houses the RJAF’s Prince Feisal Technical College and Gliding Club and a police helicopter wing, and is home to the biennial Special Operations Forces Exhibition and Conference (SOFEX) trade show.
Two further facilities at Marka are private companies that are owned and run by the air force – Jordan International Air Cargo (JIAC), operating Ilyushin Il-76 freighters, and JAC.
The organisation that eventually became JAC can trace its roots back to 2000, when Marshall Jordan Ltd was established as a joint venture between the RJAF and Marshall Aerospace of Cambridge (UK). Its aim was primarily to support RJAF C-130 transport aircraft; drawing on the UK company’s expertise with the Hercules aircraft and offering line and base maintenance up to and including programmed depot maintenance (PDM). As well as supporting Jordan’s C-130s, it was hoped that the company would compete for foreign business, winning contracts to service the C-130 aircraft of other regional air forces.
JAC, itself, was established in 2003 as a private company, operating on a commercial basis, albeit one that was completely owned by the RJAF. JAC was registered in the Marka Private Free Zone and, as such, enjoys some tax and customs exemptions.
JAC became qualified on the Boeing 737-200 in 2006, performing maintenance up to and including C-checks, as a first step towards being able to support the Boeing 737 family more widely. In 2009, it upgraded its capabilities to offer maintenance on the Boeing 737-300/400/500 (classic) aircraft.
The company further expanded the scope of its services in 2012, when it became an approved service centre for the AW139 helicopter, offering line maintenance and base maintenance up to and including two-year inspections. It also provides maintenance services for C-130 and Boeing 737 powerplants, including removal, installation, trouble shooting, inspection, parts replacement, adjustment, rigging and operational checks. Engines covered include the Allison T56-A-7/-15 and Allison 501-D22A turboprop used by the C-130/L382 Hercules (and the associated Hamilton Sundstrand 54H60-91 propeller), the Pratt & Whitney JT8D low bypass turbofan used by the Boeing 737-200 and the CFM International CFM56-3 series high bypass turbofan used by the Boeing 737-300/400/500. The company also maintains Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C turboshaft engines used by the AW139 helicopter.
As well as line and base maintenance services, JAC provides avionics and electrical and instrumentation (E&I) capabilities, cabin interior maintenance services, sheet metal and painting services, training courses and parts.
Today, JAC is one of the region’s leading maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) organisations, providing the civil and military aviation market with complete maintenance solutions.
The company has Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 145 approval, as well as holding approvals from many other national aviation authorities. It is proud of its reputation for delivering high-quality, cost-effective and on-time solutions to meet the needs of its customers, while also benefiting the local community and participating in the Jordanian economy.