At this year’s HAI Heli-Expo, Governor John Bel Edwards and Kopter Group AG CEO Andreas Löwenstein announced that the Switzerland-based helicopter company has chosen Lafayette, Louisiana, as its first North American location for production of its SH09 helicopter.
The 14.7-acre site, which will be connected to the Lafayette Regional Airport, is expected to begin initial hiring this year, with formal helicopter deliveries starting in 2021. The deal is the result of formal discussions between the company and LED that begin in October of 2018, and includes the use of LED’s FastStart® services—the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program—as well as a competitive incentive package that includes performance-based grants extending through 2024.
“Kopter Group chose the Lafayette site for several reasons,” Löwenstein said. “First, because of Louisiana, which is a rapidly growing and attractive region, already hosting several key helicopter operators and many industrial players. Second, for the easy access to a qualified workforce and a high-quality educational environment. And third, for the facility itself – which meets the highest standards and allows almost instant operations. Its location on the airport provides an ideal operational environment, with quick and easy logistics and commercial access.”