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Helicopter company headed to Lafayette says they are ahead of schedule

Posted at 4:34 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 11:20:16-04

The new helicopter manufacturing company headed to Lafayette says they’re ahead of schedule.

Christian Gras, Chief Customer Officer of Kopter Group, says because they took over the facility from Bell Helicopters at the Lafayette Regional Airport, they were able to push forward more quickly on their timeline.

Christian Gras, Chief Customer Officer of Kopter Group / KATC

Kopter, which is headquartered in Switzerland, will create 120 new direct jobs by 2025, with an average annual salary of more than $55,000 plus benefits. The company says they’re also making a $4.2 million capital investment to the assembly building at the airport.

Gras says his aircraft is unique because not only is it a single-engine, which makes it cheaper to make, it’s large enough to hold eight people. His goal is to produce around 100 helicopters per year.

Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter

He says you may not see much movement at the airport until next year. Right now they’re working on getting certifications. Next, they’ll begin modifying the old Bell facility to meet their needs. We’ll start seeing aircraft parts come in and assembly happening by 2021.

They encourage anyone looking for employment to keep an eye on their social media sites and website, starting in 2020.