23-Apr-2010 Source: Eurocopter
His Majesty Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, made his first official visit to the facilities of Eurocopter Spain accompanied by the CEO and President of the Eurocopter Group, Lutz Bertling, and the CEO of Eurocopter Spain, Juan Carlos MartÃnez Saiz. The event was also attended by the President of the Autonomous Community of Castilla La Mancha, JosÃ© MÂª Barreda, the Speaker of the Parliament of Castilla La Mancha, Francisco Pardo, and the Mayor of Albacete, Carmen Oliver, among other authorities.
His Majesty visited practically all the facilities of the factory, the only plant for the manufacture of helicopters in Spain. It is equipped with the most cutting-edge technology in Europe.
Located on a site measuring 150,000 square metres, it has an enclosed production area of 45,000 square metres which houses the hangars for the EC135, the NH90, the Tiger and other hangars dedicated to aerostructures and industrial maintenance.
Eurocopter is the main contractor for helicopter programmes in Spain. Its facilities with a staff of 600 employees carry out the production of rear fuselages with composite materials for the EC135 and the Tiger, front fuselages for the NH90 and the final assembly line of the EC135, the Spanish HAD version of the Tiger and the NH90s for the Spanish Ministry of Defence. Eurocopter Spain carries out engineering, manufacture, modernisation, delivery and logistics support activities, with full responsibility for marketing, management of programmes and support.
During the visit, Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling stated, â€œI am honoured to welcome His Majesty King Juan Carlos I and the representatives of the Castilla La Mancha authorities to our Albacete facility. We decided to build this plant in late 2005 and opened it in early 2007 to even better serve our Spanish customers with whom we have a very long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship. As an integrated part of Eurocopter, Albacete is one of the most modern centres of excellence in our Group and makes an essential contribution to our global market success.â€
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2009, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the worldâ€™s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.6 billion Euros, orders for 344 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Groupâ€™s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,500 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.