Indian Rotorcraft breaks ground

Indian Rotorcraft ground breakingIndian Rotorcraft has broken ground during a ceremony at Hyderabad’s Rajiv
Gandhi International
Airport, the start of
construction of a new helicopter production facility.

The ground breaking ceremony was conducted in the presence
of Ratan N Tata, chairman, Tata Sons; Bruno Spagnolini, chief executive officer,
AgustaWestland and other dignitaries.

Indian Rotorcraft is a joint venture company formed by Tata
Sons and AgustaWestland that will assemble, customise and flight test new
helicopters. The joint venture will initially start to produce the AW119Ke
light helicopter, with production commencing from mid-2013.

Photograph (left to
right) Bruno Spagnolini, chief executive of AgustaWestland; Ratan Tata, chairman
of Tata Sons and G.M. Rao, chairman of GMR

Ratan Tata, chairman, Tata Sons, said at the ceremony “The project is integral to our plans in the aerospace sector and we
look forward to an enduring and successful partnership with AgustaWestland for
fostering the growth of the Indian aerospace sector.”

Bruno Spagnolini, chief executive of AgustaWestland added
“We are very pleased through our joint venture with Tata Sons to be playing an
important role in the development of the Indian aerospace industry. Not only
will this new facility be able to build helicopters for the Indian market but
importantly it will supply helicopters to AgustaWestland customers around the
world.”

He added “Indian Rotorcraft will initially create jobs for
more than 70 highly skilled staff who will be trained by AgustaWestland. We see
great potential to expand this facility in the future to become a support
centre and production centre for other helicopter types.”

The facility is being built on a site adjacent to the Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi
International Airport
and will include a main assembly building, flight hangar, office space and several
helicopter landing pads. The facility will be capable of producing up to 30
helicopters per year and is designed to be further developed for other
helicopter types, right up to the 16-ton AW101.

AgustaWestland has had a presence in India since the
1930s, with links to Indian military. More recently, the company has sold
nearly 50 commercial helicopters in India including almost 20 AW139s.

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: terry@corporatejetinvestor.com or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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