Eurocopter, February 14, 2013 - by Stephane Chery - Eurocopter expanded its global industrial footprint and enhanced the company’s presence in Mexico with today’s inauguration of a new manufacturing center of excellence at Querétaro, which is to produce high-technology aircraft structural metallic components.
The event was attended by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, along with other key government, local and Eurocopter officials.
Located at the Aerotech Industrial Park adjacent to Querétaro Intercontinental Airport, this 12,000-square-meter facility will be the single-source production site for structures used in jetliner doors that the company manufactures for Airbus, along with tail booms to equip Eurocopter Ecureuil helicopters. The site also is home to a recently-opened 1,000-square-meter maintenance center specialized in the Ecureuil family of helicopters, which serves the region’s Eurocopter clients operating the popular lightweight rotorcraft.
“Today’s inauguration underscores Eurocopter’s strategy of being present in key geographical regions for its customers, and developing manufacturing capabilities where technological and industrial infrastructure supports value-added production,” said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling during comments at the opening ceremony. “In addition, this marks the 30th anniversary of our Eurocopter de México subsidiary, which continues our nearly 50-year presence in the country.”
Also joining invited guests at the Querétaro facility inauguration event were Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Mexico’s Minister of Transportation and Communications; Idelfonso Guajardo Villareal, Minister of Economy, Lic. Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas, Minister of Tourism, and José E. Calzada Rovirosa, Governor of the Mexican state of Querétaro.
“The importance of Eurocopter’s industrial commitment to Mexico is demonstrated by the role of Querétaro’s as the sole manufacturing source for all the aircraft components it will produce,” said Serge Durand, the CEO of Eurocopter de México. “This makes the new facility a vital element in Eurocopter’s global supply chain.”
Construction of the Querétaro manufacturing center began early 2012, followed by the hiring and training of personnel during the year. It will create approximately 200 specialized jobs, enabling the plant to generate 200,000 production hours annually during its initial phase of activity.
Eurocopter’s market presence in Mexico began in 1964, when the first Alouette helicopters arrived to serve the Mexican Air Force and the country’s Presidential Air Transport Unit. Based on the company’s business growth and its policy of developing regional resources for marketing, maintenance, technical and support services, as well as training, the Eurocopter de México
subsidiary was established in 1982.
Today, more than 450 Eurocopter helicopters are flying with operators in Eurocopter de México’s area of responsibility, covering Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and the northern sector of South America. This inventory includes the AS350 B3, utilized in public services, private transportation and aerial utility work; the EC145, deployed for oil and gas airlift; the Dauphin
family for private transportation, along with oil and gas missions; and the EC725/EC225, deployed in air force, navy and governmental duties.
In addition, all Mexican presidents since the 1960s have flown in Eurocopter-built helicopters, which are operated by the country’s Presidential Air Transport Unit.
About Eurocopter: Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 22,000 people. In 2012, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 6.3 billion Euros, orders for 469 new helicopters and a 44 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong international presence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries. Eurocopter’s worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents supports more than 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,780 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 148 countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and military helicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the most important aspect of its business.