Thursday, August 28, 2014

Helicopter plant ground broken

LAFAYETTE, La. -- Bell Helicopter broke ground Wednesday on an 82,300-square-foot helicopter assembly plant in Lafayette that will assemble the company's Short Light Single helicopters. The Texas-based company also confirmed receipt to date of more than 200 purchase agreements for the Bell 505, the five-seat, single-engine, turbine helicopter. The $26.3 million Lafayette Aircraft Assembly Center, funded by the state of Louisiana, will be owned by Lafayette Regional Airport and leased by Bell Helicopter. The company will make an additional capital investment of $11.4 million in equipment and tooling at the 14.5-acre airport site, adjacent to U.S. 90. The new site will create 115 direct jobs. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the aerospace project will result in another 136 new permanent indirect jobs, for a total of more than 250 new jobs in the Acadiana Region and surrounding areas. Bell Helicopter will retain more than 60 jobs in the Lafayette area at two existing facilities that perform rotor blade and composite repair and overhaul. Lafayette is about 135 miles west of New Orleans and 60 miles from Baton Rouge. (Source: Times-Picayune, 08/27/14) Previous