Boeing, Air Force To Locate Spacecraft Program at Kennedy Space Center
The Boeing Co. and the U.S. Air Force will locate their X-37B orbital test vehicle program at Kennedy Space Center, further reinforcing the region’s status as the premier hub for space activities and growth, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is pleased to announce. The program, to be based at a former Orbital Processing Facility at KSC, will allow Boeing and the Air Force to land, recover, refurbish and relaunch the 29-foot-long, unmanned space vehicle. The program will generate high-tech engineering, manufacturing and support jobs.
“Boeing’s choice to further expand its presence on Florida’s Space Coast validates the state’s position as a leader in aerospace. The company’s investment and the jobs created add to this extensive sector,” said Gray Swoope, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. “We are proud to have Boeing as a corporate leader in the state and we look forward to our Florida workforce being a part of the company’s future success.”
Financial and employment details are not being disclosed.
The X-37B operation joins more than 2,000 other aviation and aerospace companies operating in Florida who together employ 87,000 people.
Boeing and the Air Force worked with a host of key state and local partners, including Enterprise Florida, Space Florida, the Center Planning and Development Office at KSC, the EDC, Workforce Florida and Brevard Workforce, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
"This project has been a great example of state and local agencies working together to create an optimal toolbox of capabilities for the customer," said Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida, the State of Florida's spaceport authority and aerospace development agency. "The commercialization of OPF-1 through Space Florida's project funding was a critical factor in attracting this national defense program to Florida. We are pleased to see our partnership with FDOT and local communities, through spaceport projects, contributing significantly to the continued growth of Florida’s aerospace economy."
The EDC formally joined the project team 16 months ago and worked with multiple agencies to help develop an attractive location package to house the X-37B program.
“We have seen the impact and visionary thinking Boeing and the Air Force bring to the Space Coast and we are pleased to work with NASA, Space Florida, Enterprise Florida and other key state and community partners to further diversify our space industry,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. “We have long touted how attractive our unique infrastructure and workforce are to both the private sector and the military, and we are excited that this project capitalizes on both of those strengths while laying the groundwork for future growth.”
“This is a great opportunity to utilize Brevard County’s talented workforce in support of our nation’s next-generation space vehicle research platform,” said Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Chair Mary Bolin Lewis.
Workforce officials said the X-37B program is an important addition to both the Space Coast and the state.
“Boeing’s capital investment in and around Kennedy Space Center further demonstrates this global company’s commitment to Florida and represents a major win for the Space Coast and our entire state,” said Workforce Florida President and CEO Chris Hart IV. “We will continue to ensure Boeing has the well-trained workforce it needs to flourish here, providing high-value jobs that lead to new economic opportunities for Floridians.”
Lisa Rice, president of Brevard Workforce, said her agency stands ready to assist.
“Brevard Workforce excels in delivering talented professionals for high-skilled jobs such as those being created with this project. Our business services team will provide targeted recruitment, screening and training services to support this new employers’ workforce needs,” Rice said.
Aviation maintenance provider plans to create more than 500 new jobs
Aviation Technical Services expands to KC, leasing 607,000 sq. ft.
Everett, Wash.-based Aviation Technical Services (ATS) announced in December plans to open a new 607,000-sq.-ft. (56,390-sq.-m.) facility at the KCI Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Base at Kansas City International Airport in Kansas City, Mo. ATS will create more than 500 new jobs over the next three to five years with potential for 1,000 employees over time. The company will invest upwards of $7 million.
“This is yet another step to secure ATS’ future and ensures long-term stability for our customers, employees and company. Expanding to Kansas City in the KCI Overhaul Base allows us to meet existing customer requirements and adds to our platform from which to grow and diversify our service offerings over time. We plan to continue to grow in new locations that support this model,” said President and CEO Matt Yerbic.
With two existing locations in the state of Washington, expanding to Kansas City, Mo., will put ATS in closer proximity to some of its largest customers, allowing the company to improve customer service and expand its client base. Additionally, Kansas City will provide ATS with new competitive advantages and opportunities for future expansion. Kansas City will be the company’s first location outside of the state of Washington. ATS evaluated locations across the US for this facility.
“Once again, Missouri continues to be a global leader in the aerospace and aviation industry,” Gov. Jay Nixon said. “Following Boeing’s decision to bring up to 800 research and IT jobs to the Show-Me State, Aviation Technical Services’ announcement today is further evidence that Missouri’s highly-skilled work force and pro-business climate make it an outstanding place for companies large and small to prosper. This significant job-creating investment makes it easy to see why Missouri’s unemployment rate has been below the national average for 51 straight months.”
“Kansas City has a long history with the airline industry. Jet Midwest started the momentum that led to today's ATS announcement. ATS' expansion plan shows that the industry’s future in Kansas City is as bright as its past,” said Kansas City Mayor Sly James. “ATS had many options for its expansion and the fact that they chose Kansas City shows that our city continues to set itself apart from its peers. I’m thrilled to welcome ATS, and these new jobs, to our community.”
“The decision by ATS is one of several commitments made this year to create new manufacturing jobs in our KC region. When new manufacturers serving the auto and aviation industry are added to the growing number of information technology, logistics and biotech jobs being created by our local companies as well as new, entrepreneurial ventures we have a balanced economy with an upward trajectory,” said Bob Marcusse, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council.
Metropolitan Community College has worked to support ATS from the beginning of their site selection helping them understand the education, training and consulting services the college is able to provide. For applicants interested in job opportunities with ATS, please go to aviationtech.mcckc.edu.
Florida Companies Report more than $67 Million in Sales from Dubai Airshow
Enterprise Florida-led trip provides worldwide exposure for aviation/aerospace businesses
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) President & CEO Gray Swoope announced December 23rd that the EFI-led trip to the Dubai Airshow resulted in more than $67 million in expected sales for 11 Florida aviation and aerospace businesses. The show, held November 17-21 in Dubai, is the leading aerospace event in the Middle East and the fastest growing airshow in the world. Florida was the only US state represented at the show.
“Florida has a very strong base of established aviation and aerospace companies, and the state is serious about continuing to strengthen its position as a leader in the industry,” said Swoope. “We have more than 2,000 companies in the sector, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses. Part of our mission is to promote our target sectors all over the world, and shows like this allow Florida companies in those sectors to grow through export sales. We want to help them continue their success.”
The Florida Pavilion at the airshow exhibited 11 aerospace and aviation companies with various specialties, including: maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); fixed-wing and rotary pilot training; avionics; ground radar equipment; pneumatic tools; and aircraft engines and components. The Middle East is a top emerging aviation/aerospace market with substantial opportunities for Florida manufacturers, training service providers, MROs and engineering firms.
President and CEO of Airgroup Dynamics (ADI) of Orlando, Albert Arce said, “Airgroup Dynamic has pursued different international sectors in order to bring valued business to our company, but we had never tried to extend our market reach to the Middle East. Thanks to Enterprise Florida, it made this a reality with the Dubai Airshow. Airgroup Dynamics had 35 targeted group meetings of which 15 were exponentially interested in our target market of component repair. ADI established business relationships with the opportunity to start business right away during the Dubai Airshow, and Enterprise Florida gave us the opportunity to demonstrate globally what we have to offer.”
Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Avionica of Miami, Bill Thompson said, “The Dubai Airshow is a great event to meet existing customers and we were given the chance to develop opportunities. This year was the first time we had a booth featured in the Florida Pavilion and we ended up leaving with over 10 sales leads from countries around the world. Enterprise Florida’s assistance throughout the show was helpful and because of the booth, we were able to showcase our products and services to numerous of prospective clients.”
Florida Pavilion companies:
- Aero Kool Corporation – Hialeah
- Aerospace Precision, Inc. – Hollywood
- Airgroup Dynamics – Orlando
- Avionica, Inc. – Miami
- Bristow Academy – Titusville
- Caliber Sales Engineering Inc. – Pembroke Pines
- JBT AeroTec – Orlando
- Global Turbine Parts Corp - Jupiter
- Pan American Tool Corporation – Fort Lauderdale
- Sunrise Aviation – Ormond Beach
- Turbopower, LLC – Miami Lakes
Boeing to Expand
Aviation Training in Russia
New training center to be located at the Skolkovo Innovation Center
Boeing has announced it will expand its flight and maintenance training capabilities in Russia with a new, state-of-the-art training campus. The new full-service training facility— set to open in 2015—will be located in the Skolkovo Innovation Center in Moscow. Boeing will work in cooperation with Industrial Investors Group and their subsidiary Transas on the project.
"We are bringing Boeing's flight and maintenance training closer to our Russian customers, giving them the world-class support they need to successfully operate and maintain their fleets," said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services. "Airlines in the region will benefit from a technologically advanced training campus staffed by the industry's best qualified and most experienced pilots and instructors."
Initial capability will include flight, maintenance and specialty training. Local maintenance training will be available across the spectrum of Boeing aircraft currently in operation, and flight training capability will include locally based instructors.
"We are delighted to become technology partners in this unique project," said Nikholay Lebedev, president, Transas Group. "We strongly appreciate that our flight simulation technologies have become part of this international project, aimed at improving the efficiency and quality of flight crew training in Russia—a sign of confidence in our products that we are proud of."
The new facility will open with four simulator bays, featuring three Next-Generation 737 full-flight simulators and one 777 full-flight simulator. Two of the simulators will be built by Transas. The facility is designed to allow for expansion to accommodate additional training capacity as required by customers. Groundbreaking on the new training and research campus is scheduled for spring 2014, with training beginning in mid-2015.
"We are honored to be a leading partner of Russian aerospace industry for 20 years," said Sergey Kravchenko, president of Boeing Russia and CIS. "The Flight Services Training Center is another testament to our mutually beneficial partnership strategy."
The Boeing 2013 Pilot & Technician Outlook estimates that the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Russia, will require 15,200 new commercial airline pilots and 18,000 new technicians over the next two decades, supporting 1,530 new commercial airplanes by 2032. The new training campus in Russia is a significant investment in the region's aviation safety, and will reduce travel times for airline crews and the costs of sending students for training.
Boeing Flight Services continually examines the global outlook for aviation training, and works to ensure training is available where it's needed—near customers. In November, ground was broken on a new training facility in Korea. In August, Miamibecame the hub for pro forma flight training in the Americas— including 787 training —after the placement of additional flight simulators from Seattle. Three new simulators were also announced for the global training network in 2013: a third 787 full-flight simulator in London, and additional 777 and Next-Generation 737 simulators in Singapore.
Airbus Signs Agreement with Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Airbus has signed a research agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to explore the use of digital manufacturing in aerospace. Working with Neil Gershenfeld, director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) and his team, the aircraft manufacturer will evaluate how the digital material concepts being developed at MIT can potentially be applied to the design and construction of aerospace vehicles.
Digital material technology is based on the idea that a complex structure can be constructed by assembling a simple set of discrete components, similar to how the body builds all of its proteins from amino acids. When the novel parts developed by MIT are assembled, much like snap-together building blocks – the resulting structure is not only lightweight, but also extremely durable and easy to disassemble and reassemble. The technique, which could lead to a totally new way of assembling airplanes, may offer substantial benefits, including lighter aircraft structures as well as lower construction and assembly costs.
As Airbus seeks to explore new efficient and cost-effective ways to design and manufacture its aircraft in the future, this approach radically challenges the traditional airframe architecture, which consists of manufacturing large structures or parts in single pieces. Airbus is also exploring the use of 3D digital printing for the cost and weight saving potential it offers in the production of individual parts or even larger airframe structures.
“The agreement with MIT opens up an interesting collaboration with a cutting-edge research partner,” said Axel Krein, Senior Vice President of R&T at Airbus. “At Airbus, we invest heavily in projects, programs and partnerships to develop and offer step-change technologies and solutions that bring value, profitability and environmental benefits to our customers. We are pleased to add MIT to our growing global network of research partners and to explore this line of research together.”
“We're delighted to welcome Airbus as CBA's newest member, with a focus on aerospace applications of digital fabrication,” said Neil Gershenfeld.
Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Airbus champions innovative technologies and offers some of the world’s most fuel efficient and quiet aircraft. Airbus has sold over 13,300 aircraft to more than 360 customers worldwide. Airbus has achieved more than 8,000 deliveries since the first Airbus aircraft entered into service. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS company.
Pennsylvania to Expand, Improve Rail and Aviation Operations
HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 12, 2013 – State investments of $10 million in aviation and $16.1 million in rail freight will help improve facilities, help businesses expand operations and ensure safety across Pennsylvania.
"Pennsylvania's numerous transportation options make us a great place to do business and put people to work," GovernorTom Corbett said. "These projects will supplement the state's new comprehensive transportation plan which next year, increases dedicated funding for aviation, rail freight and more.
"Having reliable investments will help even more businesses and facilities expand and operate safely because they knowPennsylvania values transportation."
The grants were approved today by the State Transportation Commission, which evaluates and assesses the resources needed to maintain and expand the state's transportation system. The 15-member commission includes the Secretary of Transportation, Barry Schoch, 10 private citizens appointed by the governor, and the majority and minority chairs of the state Senate and House Transportation Committees. The state investments will be distributed through the Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program. Underscoring the cooperation among the private sector and state and local governments, the grants leverage $20.2 million in local investments.
The state has 133 public-use airports and heliports and 15 of those airports have scheduled commercial service. Pennsylvaniahas 67 operating railroads, the highest number in the nation. Authorized by the General Assembly, the grants are administered by PennDOT's Bureaus of Aviation and Rail Freight, Ports and Waterways.
Airbus develops presence in
Malaysia with new services
Airbus is set to develop its presence in Malaysia with the expansion of its joint venture maintenance unit Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE) and the establishment of a new Airbus Customer Services Centre. The developments are the first in a series of projects that will see the manufacturer increase its footprint in the fast-growing South East Asian region and provide more support services for operators of its aircraft.
The initiatives in Malaysia were announced at a ceremony at the SAE premises at Kuala Lumpur International airport today to launch construction of a second hangar at the facility. The ceremony took place in the presence of Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Razak and was attended by Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO, Airbus.
The new hangar at SAE, which specialises in the maintenance and overhaul of Airbus single aisle aircraft, will have a floor area of 13,000 square metres and will be capable of accommodating three A320 Family aircraft for major maintenance checks. This will be in addition to the existing hangar, which can accommodate six single aisle aircraft at any one time.
The new Airbus Customer Services facility, 100 per cent owned by Airbus, will be located adjacent to SAE. It will be an expansion of the manufacturer’s global network of offices providing 24/7 specialised major aircraft engineering and repair services. Existing offices offering this support are located in Toulouse, Wichita and Beijing.
“The announcements we are making today reflect the enormous potential we see for the aerospace industry in South East Asia,” said Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO, Airbus. “With a skilled talent pool, quality workmanship and competitive cost base, Malaysia is one of the countries that have the right ingredients to become a key partner for Airbus. This is in line with our strategy to have a stronger footprint in international markets and develop our support services for operators of our aircraft nearer to their home bases.”
The Asia-Pacific region is a core market for Airbus, accounting for 31 per cent of all orders recorded by the company to date. Today, there are more than 2,270 Airbus aircraft in service with 98 operators across the region, with another 2,000 on order with customers for future delivery. This represents 36 per cent of the company's total backlog, reflecting the importance of the region as the fastest growing market for new civil aircraft.
Airbus is the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer offering the most modern, innovative and efficient family of passenger airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats.
Pratt & Whitney Opens New Facility in Columbus, Ga.
Pratt & Whitney has opened its new F100 engine overhaul facility in Columbus, Ga. The new 105,000-square-foot (9,750-sq.-m.) facility enhances Pratt & Whitney's capacity to service engines that power F-16 and F-15 fighter aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force and international military customers. Pratt & Whitney, the Development Authority of Columbus and Western Devcon Inc. worked together to develop, design and build the new facility. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp.
In April 2013, Pratt & Whitney announced it would move the majority of the F100 engine overhaul work performed at its San Antonio Engine Center to Columbus. Construction on the new facility began in July, with employees scheduled to begin performing F100 engine overhauls in the first quarter of 2014.
"To remain competitive and realize efficiencies, it made sense to take advantage of the engine services infrastructure we already have here in Columbus," said Tom Bode, Columbus Engine Center general manager. "This expansion is a strategic investment for our company and will be critical to our success in the future by allowing us to centralize much of our commercial and military engine aftermarket, repair and overhaul work."
Pratt & Whitney's Columbus Engine Center – located 90 miles (149 km.) south of Atlanta – is a full-capacity, world-class jet engine maintenance facility serving commercial customers as well as the United States government. The facility is an IAE V2500 engine maintenance center of excellence and North America's leading provider of V2500 engine overhauls. The facility also provides PW2000 engine overhaul as well as F117 engine overhaul services for the U.S. military's C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft.
The Columbus Engine Center offers a variety of services including heavy maintenance, hot section refurbishment, module repair, inspection, performance enhancements and engine testing. The facility's extensive in-house repair capability helps improve turn-around times and reduce customers' operating costs.
Bell Helicopter Announces New La. FacilityCompany 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
LAFAYETTE, La. — Gov. Bobby Jindal and Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison announced December 10th 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.
Gov. Jindal said, “Bell Helicopter ranks among the most well-known aerospace companies, and we are proud that Louisiana’s world-class workforce, outstanding business climate and incomparable infrastructure combined to attract this exciting project to our state. Louisiana is a state with a long history in the aerospace industry. Companies in our state include three of the largest civilian helicopter operators in the world, along with aerospace production from contractors like Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Today’s announcement signals that Louisiana is ready to further expand its presence and leadership in the aerospace industry, creating quality career opportunities for our people for generations to come.”
Bell Helicopter announced plans to re-enter the SLS market at the 2013 Paris Air Show in June. The SLS aircraft will feature a load capacity of 1,500 pounds, a speed of 144 mph, and a cruising range of more than 400 miles. The SLS is designed to support a wide variety of operations and is aimed heavily at the export market. Target customer segments include utility, law enforcement, civilian flight training and other applications.
“Bell Helicopter defined the short light single market nearly 50 years ago with the JetRanger, and our customers are again asking for a high-performance, high-value Bell product in this category,” Garrison said. “We have taken this challenge seriously and are focused on delivering an aircraft that is not only competitively priced, but offers features and capabilities customers have come to expect from Bell Helicopter. We considered several sites for this new facility, and Louisiana’s proposal demonstrated the state’s commitment to economic development. The state’s established aerospace industry and exceptional workforce training programs were also key factors in our decision to make Louisiana a partner in expanding our manufacturing footprint.”
LED began discussions with Bell Helicopter about a potential assembly facility in July, following a May visit with company officials in Fort Worth, Texas. The Lafayette Economic Development Authority, or LEDA, and the Lafayette Airport Commission also played key roles in landing the assembly facility. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes performance-based grants of $4.0 million for lease support, $3.8 million for infrastructure and equipment, and $0.2 million to reimburse relocation expenses. Louisiana also will provide the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart® – the nation’s No. 1-ranked state workforce development program.
Bell Helicopter will lease space for its SLS assembly operation in a new 82,300-square-foot, $26.3 million hangar facility at Lafayette Regional Airport that is being funded by the State of Louisiana. The new hangar facility will be owned by Lafayette Regional Airport and built on a 14.5-acre site there that is located adjacent to U.S. Highway 90. Construction will begin in the first half of 2014. Bell will begin hiring employees for the new facility by 2015, and assembly operations will start by 2016 following certification of the facility and the aircraft.
The Bell Helicopter assembly facility represents the latest in a series of aerospace industry project wins for Louisiana. In August, AAR Corp. announced the establishment of a 750-employee Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility for wide-body aircraft at Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, La. In conjunction with the AAR project, Louisiana is establishing a national Aircraft MRO Center of Excellence that will serve Northrop Grumman and other aviation service providers. Northrop Grumman and its predecessors have performed Aircraft MRO operations for more than two decades at Chennault.
Louisiana’s aerospace industry also includes a long lineage of spacecraft assembly operations at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, ranging from the first stage of NASA’s Saturn V rocket to the Space Shuttle external tanks and current development of NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft. The Shreveport-Bossier City metro area in north Louisiana is home to the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command and Eighth Air Force, both headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, while the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse, La., near New Orleans, represents a strategic air defense hub.
Lafayette and the Acadiana, Bayou and Southwest regions of Louisiana anchor a helicopter industry that has served the offshore oil-and-gas, aerospace training and emergency services sectors for decades. PHI Inc. (headquartered in Lafayette), ERA Helicopters LLC (headquartered in Lake Charles) and Bristow Group Inc. provide extensive, state-of-the-art helicopter services throughout Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico and other global regions. In addition, AvEx – Aviation Exteriors Inc. – is a global leader in aviation exterior painting services and is based at the Acadiana Regional Airport in New Iberia, La.
“As the first complete aircraft assembly plant in Louisiana, this project is significant not only for our city but the whole Acadiana area and our entire state,” Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel said. “This is an opportunity for an entire industry to take note of what is going on in our state. I am thrilled to see that while we were competing for this company to come to Louisiana – and while we knew that we were competing against states that had done a stellar job in aerospace in the past – that we were seen as being the most competitive location. Winning a world-class project from a company like Bell Helicopter is proof of that.”
“Bell’s commitment to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and guarantee at least 115 full-time positions is a testament to the strength of the Lafayette economy,” said Chairman Matt Cruse of the Lafayette Airport Commission. “This deal is a true collaborative effort, and would not have been possible without the hard work of Governor Bobby Jindal and his administration, LED, and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. Lafayette Regional Airport was selected in a competitive process and won the selection based upon many factors, such as airport compatibility, local economic strength, workforce availability and a strong economic incentive package.”
“LEDA has actively worked with various divisions of Bell since 2005,” LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux said. “Along with a new Bell facility currently under construction in LEDA Industrial Park, today’s announcement further demonstrates Bell’s confidence in Lafayette, Acadiana and Louisiana. The fact that this will be the first aircraft final assembly plant in Louisiana in many generations emphasizes Bell’s commitment and belief that our community’s workforce will deliver a world-class product in a world-class manner. Bell will be a valuable addition to Acadiana’s thriving specialty and advanced manufacturing sector – an area we are concentrating on as a significant part of LEDA’s targeted industry strategy. Most of all, we appreciate the quality employment opportunities Bell will provide for our region’s experienced manufacturing workforce.”
“This exciting investment by Bell takes the helicopter industry presence in Acadiana to the next level with the addition of a state-of-the-art assembly facility,” said President and CEO Jason El Koubi of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. “It also demonstrates the extraordinary opportunity we have to grow and diversify our regional economy and create jobs by working together. In addition to welcoming Bell to our community, I want to applaud Governor Jindal and LED, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, and the Lafayette Regional Airport for winning this multistate site selection process and securing new jobs and investment for the Lafayette area.”
In addition to creating 115 new jobs at its SLS assembly facility, Bell Helicopter will maintain 63 existing jobs in the Lafayette area associated with two existing facilities involved with helicopter components and service operations.
Boeing Forecasts Realignment, Balance for 2014 Airplane Financing
- Strong global demand, new-jet fuel efficiency drive expected $112 billion in deliveries
- Adequate financing, reasonable prices expected as export credit use declines, capital markets support expands
- Aircraft assets represent good inflation hedge with financing rates at historic lows
Boeing, which released its seventh annual aircraft finance market forecast December 10th, projects that investors and financiers in the major aircraft finance markets will deliver balanced liquidity to fund what is expected to be another record global jetliner production year in 2014.
"Realignment and balance are the words that best describe 2014's aircraft financing environment," said Kostya Zolotusky, managing director of capital markets development and leasing at Boeing Capital Corp., the company's financing and leasing unit. "We anticipate adequate financing at reasonable prices as the industry works to respond to balanced global customer demand and an accelerated replacement cycle resulting from higher fuel prices."
Boeing forecasts industry jetliner deliveries in 2014 totaling $112 billion, with 95 percent of that expected to be split between Boeing and Airbus.
The forecast noted the declining use by airlines of export credit agency (ECA) financing from the Export-Import Bank and the continued rapid expansion of commercial aircraft-backed bond issuances. According to the report, these factors contributed to the financing realignment and are expected to result in an almost even balance among primary aircraft financing sources, including aircraft leasing companies, commercial banks, the capital markets and ECAs.
Boeing sees many new bank participants complementing the established aircraft banks' space with globally balanced participation, said Zolotusky. The leasing market has evolved during the past decade from five equally competitive lessors to several times that many today. Capital markets are continuing to expand as a source of funding for both U.S. and international airlines as well as leasing companies. All of this is possible due to balanced global air travel demand and a replacement market driven by higher fuel costs and the attractiveness of new, fuel-efficient airplanes, Zolotusky said.
While the forecast deals primarily with new-aircraft financing, the report also noted signs of improvement in used aircraft financing after several years in which higher fuel prices and other economic factors disrupted the balance between the new and used jetliner markets.
"We continue to watch how global monetary policies could potentially impact aircraft finance," Zolotusky said. "However, we believe the industry is well positioned for the outcomes of inflation, higher interest rates or a combination of both. Asset portfolios are excellent inflation hedges and current all-in aircraft financing costs are at historical lows." The 2014 aircraft finance market outlook is available at www.boeingcapital.com/cafmo.