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Eurocopter begins construction of a new industrial facility in the Mexican state of Querétaro for production of aerostructures and components

A groundbreaking ceremony yesterday marked the official start of construction work on Eurocopter's new manufacturing plant in Querétaro, Mexico, which will manufacture aeronautical components and subassemblies.

This industrial facility – situated within the Aerotech Park adjacent to Querétaro International Airport – will be dedicated to the production and assembly of helicopter and aircraft components, such as tail booms, vertical stabilizers and doors. The facility will include a workshop area for cutting, milling, pressing, surface treatment and the assembly of single parts and sub-assemblies, as well as a new benchmark helicopter maintenance center for Eurocopter.

"Eurocopter is constantly seeking opportunities for improving its global supply chain, and we have found an attractive industrial environment and a ready supply of skilled labor in Querétaro," said Eurocopter de Mexico CEO Serge Durand, during today's ceremony. "We strongly believe in the future success of this new facility. Such high tech value work packages will feed Eurocopter's supply chain in Europe."

The new plant is to be ready for product deliveries beginning in late 2012.

"Eurocopter's initial investment in the facility is the equivalent of approximately U.S. $100 million," explained Dieter John, Eurocopter's Executive Vice President. "In the long-term, Mexico will benefit from investments amounting to as much as $550 million – driven by the Queretaro plant's future development, along with overall growth of Eurocopter de Mexico's activities and the expected arrival of additional suppliers and subcontractors in the region."

The new facility's construction represents an extension of Eurocopter's global industrial network, backed by technology transfer that will foster the regional development of high- level skills and know-how.

"I am very happy to participate in the cornerstone-laying ceremony for this new industrial site, which will contribute to making Querétaro a true aeronautical cluster," said Tonatiuh Salinas Muñoz, Secretary of Sustainable Development of the State of Querétaro. "The Autonomous University of Queretaro will definitely play a major role in training an important part of the facility's future staff, expected to reach approximately 180 employees by 2015."

The plant's groundbreaking event, including the placement of a symbolic cornerstone by helicopter, was broadcast via satellite to Mexican officials, Eurocopter delegates and attendees of the Economic Forum at Querétaro's Conference Center.Welcoming Eurocopter's industrial presence in Querétaro, Frédéric Garcia, CEO of EADS in Mexico said that this new investment was in line with EADS' vision while significantly contributing to the development of the Mexican aeronautical industry.

Press release issued by Airbus Helicopters on October 26, 2011


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