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Bell Helicopter Announces New Helicopter Assembly Facility in Louisiana

Company will create 115 jobs and invest $11.4 million in equipment and tooling to produce a new helicopter that will fill the JetRanger’s historic position in Bell’s product portfolio; State will fund new hangar at Lafayette Regional Airport 

Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison announced the company will produce its new SLS helicopter at Lafayette Regional Airport, leading to the first modern-era aircraft assembly facility in Louisiana. The project will create 115 new direct jobs averaging more than $55,000 per year, plus benefits, while Bell will invest $11.4 million in equipment and tooling. LED estimates the aerospace project will result in another 136 new, permanent indirect jobs, for a total of more than 250 new jobs in Acadiana. Bell Helicopter selected Louisiana for the new facility after a highly competitive site-selection process in which several states were seriously considered.

Bell Helicopter’s production of the five-seat, single-engine, turbine helicopter will unveil a contemporary version of the aircraft pioneered by the company more than 50 years ago as the JetRanger. The SLS – or Short Light Single – will focus on safety, efficiency and reliability through the use of advanced technology.

Read more about the announcement.