A new factory for the manufacturing of Airbus-brand helicopters was inaugurated on Tuesday, 13.09.2016, in the Romanian city of Ghimbav.
With less than a year since the start of the build process in November 2015, a new Airbus Helicopters Industries factory was officially opened for production. Set to roll-out multi-purpose helicopters for the international market, the 10,000 square meter Ghimbav factory in Romania (Brașov County) is equipped to handle up to 15 units per year.
A new member of the Airbus family
As production will soon start, Airbus factory employees will focus on building just one of the company’s models, the H215. Part of the Super Puma/Cougar rotor-craft family, the Airbus H215 is a heavy-weight, twin-engine helicopter, according to the company’s official site. It’s guaranteed to work in extreme conditions and comes with what Airbus calls ‘competitive operating costs’. The helicopter can be used in a wide range of operations, including search and rescue missions, police work, passenger transport, peace-keeping missions and firefighting activities. One vehicle is able to transport a maximum of 22 passengers. Furthermore, the helicopter has born out of the cumulative efforts of Airbus with Romanian companies Aeroteh, IAR, Aerostar and Turbomecanica.
Production to start next year
The new Ghimbav facility has a total surface of 10,000 square meters, enough to accommodate the 15 helicopters estimated to roll out each year. Officials announce that production on the first unit is set to start in 2017. Consequently, the first of the H215s should be finished by the end of next year.
A multi-purpose R&D facility
Next to the production line, the Ghimbav factory has space for a research and development office, a sales department and also a training sector for future employees. With these extra facilities planned, Airbus is set to invest 51.7 million Euro (approximately 229.9 million Ron). Also, the Romanian Government announced it will cover close to 5 million Euro (aprox. 22.24 million Ron) of the total investment. So far, the 10,000 square meter facility cost 15 million Euro (aprox. 66.73 million Ron) to complete.
As part of the opening ceremony, which took place at the production site in Ghimbav, Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș and French President Francois Hollande were some of the officials present. There, Prime Minister Cioloș talked about the advantages this new factory will bring to the Romanian market: ‘The intention is to encourage the development of a platform, of a hub in the aeronautical industry, starting from Brașov, and of course, with the participation of other producing enterprises from Romania’.
A multi-developed company
Airbus Group SE is an international aerospace and defense corporation, with headquarters in Leiden, Netherlands and its main office in Blagnac, France. It was founded in the year 2000, when it was known as the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company. With international recognition, Airbus has three subsidiaries: Airbus SAS (for civilian aircrafts), Airbus Defense and Space (military, space exploration and electronics systems) and Airbus Helicopters (civilian and military helicopters). The latter is known for having more than 12,000 units produced worldwide, with orders from more than 3,000 clients, in 154 countries.