Bell Helicopter broke ground this week on its new Fort Worth, Texas headquarters, a 210,000-sq-ft facility that will house administration, support functions, program offices, customer center and an integrated training center when it opens in 2014. The Bell Helicopter training facility, currently located at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, will also be moved to the new global headquarters.
Striking machinists at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics plant in Fort Worth, Texas, voted by a large margin to accept a revised contract offer from the company, bringing to a conclusion a 10-week walkout at the facility that assembles the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Fort Worth Local 776 voted 1,873 to 447 on June 28 to accept a four-year contract, The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported.
A machinists strike at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics plant in Fort Worth, Texas, which manufactures the F-16 and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, has stretched into a seventh week, with no sign of an end. Demonstrations were also reported at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Md., where union members are also employed, and at Lockheed Martin’s corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Md.
Uniflight of Grand Prairie, Texas, has been awarded a repair station certificate by Mexico’s Director General of Civil Aeronautics. “We have a team of mechanics that we can send to Mexico on short notice due to our proximity to Dallas-Fort Worth airport, and for any helicopter we’re less than one fuel load from the Texas/Mexico border,” said Manny Ortiz, director of maintenance for the MRO. “And many of our staff here in Grand Prairie are bilingual.”
After constructing two hangars totaling nearly 44,000 sq ft last year, Fort Worth Meacham International Airport-based service provider Texas Jet has expanded its operations again with the acquisition of neighboring FBO Fort Worth Flight Support (formerly Phazar Flight Support). The purchase adds two hangars and an executive terminal that will serve as the facility’s new private terminal, according to Texas Jet president Reed Pigman. The FBO–which fuels approximately 10,000 private turbine aircraft a year–now operates 22 hangars at Meacham, totaling more than 400,000 sq ft.
Transport Workers Union president James Little expressed “shock” last week at the depth of concessions AMR Corporation has asked from its employees as part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy.
Bell Helicopter has put a price on playing catch-up: $1 billion. That’s how much the Textron company plans to spend on accelerated research and development, new and renovated facilities, taxable inventory and operations during the next four to five years. It’s all in an effort to recapture some of the market share Bell has lost to Eurocopter and AgustaWestland over the last three decades.
Bell Helicopter is launching a $1 billion facilities and product modernization program. The $240 million project will create a new office building and training academy in Fort Worth. As part of the plan Bell will relocate workers currently at its Alliance Airport and other area sites. Bell is seeking substantial local tax abatement to help finance the upgrades.