Eurocopter is hoping to establish a completion center for its Ecureuil light helicopter series in Tianjin, China, next year. Company president Lutz Bertling inked a memorandum of understanding today with Feng Zhijiang, president of the Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TFTZ). The agreement aims at “exploring the creation of a completion and customization center.”
The signing ceremony in Tianjin was witnessed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. Eurocopter’s “China Completion Center,” a joint venture with the TFTZ, would first accommodate the Ecureuil series–the AS350B2, AS350B3e (AStar), EC130B4, EC130T2 and AS355NP. But it would also be designed to enable accommodating other Eurocopter types.
Bertling said the AS350 accounts for 30 of the 130 Eurocopters operating in the Asian country. He deemed the current growth of China’s general aviation market “massive.”
Plans call for building the completion center next to parent company EADS’s Airbus A320 final assembly line in Tianjin. The city, also home of Avicopter, is about 70 miles southeast of Beijing.