Bell Helicopter mulls training academies in India

October 15th, 2008 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Oct 15 (IANS) Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of the $13.2-billion multi-industry US major Textron Inc, is looking to set up training academies as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in India, a senior official said here Wednesday.”We are in multiple discussions with multiple potential partners about the locations,” said Bob Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of sales at Bell Helicopter, at a news conference at India Aviation 2008, India’s first international conference and exhibition on civil aviation.

The company, which is all set to deliver its 100th helicopter in India, is also competing for defence orders. “The major competition is for reconnaisance and surveillance helicopters. We are putting forward our proposal,” he said.

He said Bell will continue to focus on India as a strategic market.

The 100th delivery of a Bell helicopter will take place Thursday in the presence of Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel.

The company also uneviled its new Bell-429 helicopter at the air show. The helicopter has already garnered 350 orders, including 15 from India.

The US company sold its first helicopter in India in 1958. It has a global technology centre in Bangalore that employs over 350 people.

Bell officials also felicitated representatives of its major customers in India including Deccan Aviation, Global Vetra Helicopters, Heligo Charters and Pavan Hans.

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