These program relocations include the final assembly of the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X, and assembly of the firm’s new five-passenger commercial helicopter.
Initially, the company had planned on Lafayette, Louisiana being the site for building the new helicopter. Bell claims that despite the decision change, the firm has “received tremendous support from the state and local government” of Louisiana.
Bell’s Mirabel plant in Quebec has operated since 1983, and has been a crucial part of Bell’s longstanding development plan. Bell chooses to remain loyal to the workforce and infrastructure in Maribel, the location where Bell’s 505 Jet Ranger X flight-test vehicles were built. The move serves as beneficial to Bell as it will enable the firm to take advantage of the firm’s overall industrial footprint at each of their sites while also capitalizing on the fundamental capabilities that each facility has to offer. Quebec and Canada’s government are also working on amending their loan conditions to support the relocation that will provide 100 new jobs at the Maribel plant. The new five-passenger commercial helicopter is pending certification from Transport Canada which should be issued later on this year. Meanwhile, 380 orders have already been placed for the new aircraft.
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