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Eurocopter Achieves FAA Approval to Manufacture AS350 B2s & B3s in the US

By Vertical Mag | September 30, 2005

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 18 seconds.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved Eurocopter’s application to build A-Star 350 B2 and B3 helicopters at American Eurocopter’s state-of-the-art 85,000 square foot facility in Columbus, Mississippi.   

The AS350 B2 and B3 are powerful single engine aircraft each capable of carrying a pilot and 6-7 passengers, 1127 have been sold in 45 countries to 587 customers. These best selling aircraft along with other Eurocopter model helicopters have been consistently selected by 27 Law Enforcement agencies such as U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the Los Angeles County Sheriff, the LAPD, CHP and the FBI, to fulfill varied and demanding missions. This has resulted in Eurocopter having an estimated 60% share of sales to the U.S. law enforcement market.

“This is a major step in our strategy to invest in our manufacturing capabilities in the largest market in the world. By manufacturing the AS350 in our Columbus, Mississippi facility with US aviation skilled engineers and technicians we will produce the very best aircraft that will enable us to be even closer to our customers” said Fabrice Brgier; Eurocopter’s President and CEO.

Initially, American Eurocopter will build over 30 AS350s annually at its Mississippi plant; with future production increases being linked to sales. In addition, the facility will manufacture parts and subassemblies for other Eurocopter aircraft such as the twin engine AS355 and 365 Dauphin; and continue to customize other Eurocopter helicopter models such as the EC120, EC135, EC145 and EC155. Should American Eurocopter win the DoD contract for the U S Army and National Guard UH145 light utility helicopter requirement, they will also be built in the U.S.

“Long before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast, we committed ourselves to building the world’s best helicopters here using the best resources,” says Marc Paganini, President and CEO of American Eurocopter. “Now that this region is faced with the greatest reconstruction effort in its history, we are eager to help build a renewed and prosperous Mississippi.”

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