MARIGNANE, France, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Eurocopter this week announced a major company event and a contract signing in Mexico and India that underline company growth.
In Mexico, Eurocopter and its local subsidiary, Eurocopter de Mexico, officially opened a new manufacturing facility to produce structural metallic components for its aircraft.
In India, the company secured a deal to supply aircraft for use in medical missions.
The company, which has headquarters in France, said the facility in Queretaro, Mexico, is about 39.000 square feet and includes a 3,280-square-foot maintenance center that specializes in servicing customers of the company's Ecureuil family of helicopters.
"Today's (Thursday's) inauguration underscores Eurocopter's strategy of being present in key geographical regions for its customers and developing manufacturing capabilities where technological and industrial infrastructure supports value-added production," said Eurocopter President and Chief Executive Officer Lutz Bertling.
"In addition, this marks the 30th anniversary of our Eurocopter de Mexico subsidiary, which continues our nearly 50-year presence in the country."
Eurocopter said the official opening of the facility in central Mexico was attended by government and company officials, including Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
"The importance of Eurocopter's industrial commitment to Mexico is demonstrated by the role of Queretaro's as the sole manufacturing source for all the aircraft components it will produce," Serge Durand, the chief executive officer of Eurocopter de Mexico said at the ceremony. "This makes the new facility a vital element in Eurocopter's global supply chain."
The Queretaro manufacturing center is near the city's airport. Its construction began early last year.
More than 450 Eurocopter aircraft are flying in Mexico, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and the northern area of South America.
EC725/EC225 helicopters are used by Mexico's air force, navy and governmental agencies for a variety of missions, including VIP transport, while the EC145 is used for oil and gas company airlift.
In other Eurocopter developments, India's Aviators Pvt. Ltd. has signed a deal for an initial seven Eurocopter EC135 aircraft for use in emergency medical services.
Initial deliveries to Aviators Pvt. Ltd. will begin this year and a second order for EC135s is expected soon.
"As the EC135 is a global reference in helicopter emergency medical services, it is highly appropriate that Aviators will introduce such operations in India with these extremely capable helicopters," Euorocopter's senior vice president for the Asia-Pacific region said.
Aviators is establishing itself as a pioneering helicopter emergency medical services operation in India.
The EC135 is a twin-engine aircraft used in law enforcement and medical operations, as well as for executive transport. It has a cruising speed of 158 miles per hour, a range of 359 miles per hour and a service ceiling of 20,000 feet. It features a Fenestron-shrouded tail rotor and bearingless main rotor.
Eurocopter said its unobstructed cabin, large sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors enable rapid loading/unloading of patients and equipment.