Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lafayette gets Bell plant

LAFAYETTE, La. – Texas-based Bell Helicopter has chosen Lafayette Regional Airport over several other locations as the site where it will assemble the company's new line of Short Light Single (SLS) helicopters. The announcement was made by Gov. Bobby Jindal and Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison. Bell will lease space for its SLS assembly operation in a new $26.3 million, 82,300-square-foot hangar at the airport that's being funded by the State of Louisiana but owned by Lafayette Regional Airport. The facility will be built on a 14.5-acre site. Bell will invest $11.4 million in equipment and tooling in the project, which will create 115 direct jobs, and 136 indirect jobs. The SLS is a five-seat, single-engine, turbine helicopter. (Source: nola.com, KLFY, 12/10/13) Gulf Coast note: The decision places another aircraft assembly plant along the Interstate 10 corridor. Lafayette is about 60 miles west of Baton Rouge.