26-May-2022 Source: HeliHub.com
Airbus Helicopters base in the UK at Oxford Airport is set for a significant expansion, as the Airport and the OEM make a joint investment of £40 Million.
The current facilities occupied by Airbus Helicopters has been very restrictive for some years now, and the new facility will create opportunities for every aspect of the company’s work.
Airbus Helicopters UK was originally owned by the Sir Robert McAlpine construction company, and traded for many years as McAlpine Helicopters. It was bought by Airbus in November 2007, and renamed as Eurocopter UK Ltd, changing again to Airbus Helicopters UK Ltd in early 2014 in line with the company’s global re-branding exercise. Starting from their original facility at Hayes Heliport, close to Heathrow, the company moved to Oxford Airport in 1993.
The new facility will be located towards the northern end of the Oxford Airport site and east of the 01/19 main runway. It will be separate from all other current buildings on its own 14 acre / 5.5 hectare site, and work has already started on a dedicated access road from the central area of the Airport. Plans revealed by Oxford Airport at a recent media briefing show that the Airport will be re-routing the fixed wing taxiways to allow the construction to go ahead
Opening in 2024, it will accommodate a growing workforce, including their apprentice programme, and enable Airbus Helicopters to both deliver increased levels of efficiency and also reduce their environmental footprint. This investment is going ahead based on their long term commitment to both UK Civil and Defence customers.
Airbus have also noted that the New Medium lift Helicopter competition is underway to replace the current British Puma fleet with up to 44 new aircraft. As the incumbent, they will be offering the H175M, with a proposal of a brand new helicopter production facility for the type on the site at Broughton, where the Airbus group builds all its airliner wings. If successful, Broughton will become the production line for all future H175M sales, not just for the UK programme.
The current Oxford facility houses all aspects of customer sales and support efforts in the UK for Airbus Helicopters, and is the completion centre for airframes delivered new for UK purchasers from the production lines in both France and Germany. Additionally, the completion work includes every ACH130 Aston Martin Edition helicopter for all customers globally, as it is located less than 40 miles from Aston Martin’s headquarters.