AgustaWestland expanding footprint in Brazil
AgustaWestland has announced that its Brazilian subsidiary AgustaWestland do Brasil is to undergo a major expansion with the building of a new facility in Itapevi, 30 km from São Paulo, which will include maintenance hangars with space that could accommodate a helicopter final assembly line, training centre with full flight simulation capability, bonded warehouse, workshops and other supporting services including a dedicated heliport. The Itapevi location, selected by AgustaWestland, features easy access from São Paulo with potential for future development. Construction of the new facility is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
The project is being supported by Investe São Paulo, the investment promotion agency linked to the Secretariat of Economic Development, Science, Technology and Innovation. “The aerospace sector is considered a priority for Investe São Paulo, because it requires highly skilled workers and adds value to a complex industrial chain,” says the president of Investe SP, Juan Quirós. The agency has also assisted in the procurement of environmental and construction licenses.
AgustaWestland has achieved steady business growth in Latin America and Brazil in recent years and this latest development is intended to support the company win new opportunities in the region, which shows significant medium-to-long-term potential. This new larger facility will enable the company to grow its industrial presence and allow the company to potentially assemble helicopters in Brazil, demonstrating AgustaWestland’s long term commitment to the region and its customers. AgustaWestland do Brasil’s new maintenance hangars will be able to accommodate helicopters ranging from single-engine to the three-engine AW101, with additional space to potentially establish a helicopter final assembly line. A bonded warehouse will also form a key part of the new facility giving customers in South America quicker access to spare parts. AgustaWestland do Brasil’s new facility will also allow accommodating the local deployment of training capabilities in order to improve services to be more and more respondent to regional customers. The facility will have its own dedicated heliport for helicopters up to the size of an AW101, with five landing spots and a Final Approach and Take-off (FATO) area. The new facility is designed to cope with the expected introduction of significant numbers of new AW189 and AW169 helicopters into the Brazilian market. The AW189 is already in service globally and is set to enter service in Brazil for offshore duties while the AW169 has recently obtained EASA certification and has already been ordered by many customers in Brazil and Latin America. AgustaWestland has over 190 commercial helicopters operating in Brazil performing many roles including corporate/private transport, law enforcement, public services and offshore transport.