Video: Airbus Columbus Will Start Full Helicopter Assembly Line
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – It was nearly two years ago that employees at Airbus Columbus held a rally to save their jobs. They were asking the United States Army not to end its contract. Now things are looking up again.
A year and a half ago Airbus Columbus was fighting to stay open. The Army announced it may end its contract with the company. Now, things have turned around and Airbus is preparing to assemble more helicopters.
“The last 9 or 10 months the United States Army has said “you know this Lakota that you guys build for a utility mission? It would really work nicely for training aircraft,” says Sam Adcock, Vice President of Airbus Columbus.
Adcock says efforts made by State Representatives to keep the contract are paying off.
“The Army has largely reversed their position. They were looking to terminate our program early. Now they’re expanding it. We’re going to sell a few more helicopters. The next step on a road to ensure a continuing presence for helicopter production for the United States Army in Columbus and the Golden Triangle area,” says Adcock.
Airbus Columbus will soon have two Lakota aircraft in service in Fort Rucker, AL. Adcock says the new order means continued stability for Airbus employees.
“It means that we’re going to have more jobs longer here. I don’t know if it’s going to add jobs to the top line unfortunately. Although we’re continually working hard to expand our market presence,” says Adcock.
The new AS350 – A-Star, America’s most popular helicopter, is scheduled to hit the assembly line in September. Airbus Columbus has also installed a full production line that will allow for shorter delivery times, increased customization and customers can see their aircraft being produced.