Grand Prairie, Texas
Airbus Helicopters Inc. is the leading provider of helicopters in the United States, supporting operators here for 50 years.
The company’s U.S. operations began in 1969 with the establishment of Vought Helicopter, Inc. in Texas, which France’s Aerospatiale took over in 1974.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. opened the doors to its current facilities in 1980 in Grand Prairie, which is now home to the U.S. headquarters of Airbus Helicopters.
As the major Support and Services hub for Airbus Helicopters North America, the Grand Prairie campus houses customer and technical support, sales and marketing and engineering services. Facilities also include extensive maintenance and repair offerings, a spare parts warehouse, fleet safety and training and a recently opened Fleet Operations Center.
A new, state-of-the-art regional training and simulation center is currently under construction and expected to open in September 2019. Featuring full-flight simulators, the joint venture with Helisim will provide training to several thousand pilots and maintenance personnel each year.
With a highly skilled workforce of more than 500, the Grand Prairie campus has helped to strengthen Airbus Helicopters’ position in North America, where it leads in five of the largest market segments and provides world-class aftermarket and technical support.
To meet its growing U.S. business volume, Airbus Helicopters Inc. operates a modern production center of excellence near Columbus, in Northeastern Mississippi’s Golden Triangle region.
Since it opened in 2003, more than 1,300 aircraft have departed the Mississippi flight line, all of which were delivered on time or ahead of schedule.
The Columbus facility is proud to build the H125 helicopter and the U.S. Army UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter. Additionally, the plant handles the assembly and customization of other Airbus Helicopters models and also manufactures components for use on new-production helicopters.
In 2018, the Columbus facility was named a Center of Excellence for Completions and assumed responsibilities for the entire Airbus Helicopters North American region, allowing for quicker deliveries and greater customization for customers.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. has worked closely with the East Mississippi Community College to establish training courses in the fields of electrical systems and avionics, sheet metal and mechanics. This has enabled the college to provide a source of skilled workers from the local region to fill job openings at the facility.
More than 200 employees now work at Airbus Helicopters Inc. in Columbus, with 40 percent U.S. military veterans.
DFW Distribution Center
Airbus Helicopters Inc. operates a logistics hub and distribution center at DFW Airport.
The 80,000-square-foot facility opened in 2008 to help customers operate more efficiently and reduce aircraft downtime. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the facility provides aftermarket support to commercial and government customers across the United States.
Each year, the distribution center handles some 316,000 transactions, with a spare parts and tools inventory of $162 million. Its location at DFW Airport allows for quick shipping and extended delivery hours, and a staff of 55 employees includes import and export compliance experts, licensed U.S. Customs brokers and Quality Assurance personnel.
Take a tour of the factory in Columbus, Mississippi to learn more about the process of building the H125. "Made in a Day" was produced by National Geographic.