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Top Helicopter Manufacturer Locates Headquarters in Fairfax County
-Governor Warner announces 300 new jobs, $2 million investment -
FAIRFAX COUNTY - Gov. Mark R. Warner announced today that AgustaWestland, Inc. and AgustaWestland Bell will relocate and consolidate their operations in Reston, creating 300 new jobs and a $2 million investment in Fairfax County. AgustaWestland is one of the world’s largest military and commercial helicopter manufacturers. Virginia successfully competed with Maryland for the project.
The company’s move into the new facility is slated for January 2005. The jobs created include high technology jobs.
“We are delighted that this global business leader has chosen Fairfax County for its new corporate headquarters facility,” said Governor Warner. “The county’s close proximity to the Department of Defense, its highly skilled workforce and Northern Virginia’s premier business climate will guarantee continued success for AgustaWestland.”
AgustaWestland Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, while AgustaWestlandBell is a joint venture of AgustaWestland and Bell Helicopter Textron. AgustaWestlandBell has teamed up with Lockheed Martin for the US101 helicopter program. The US101 currently is competing for the contract to replace the “Marine One” fleet of helicopters used by the President of the United States.
AgustaWestland brings together two great names in the history of helicopter design and manufacture with both Agusta http://www.agusta.com/comhi_e.htm and Westland http://www.whl.co.uk/whl_hist.html each having entered the helicopter industry over 50 years ago. Agusta’s and Westland's pedigree as helicopter manufacturers dates back to the 1950s when both companies made strategic decisions to move into rotary wing aircraft production. Agusta and Westland first collaborated in the 1960s, and evolved for more than 20 years, including collaboration on the development and production of the 17-ton multi-role EH101, the largest European helicopter program ever undertaken. This association provided the platform that enabled the two companies to conclude a rapid and effective integration when Finmeccanica S.p.A. of Italy and GKN plc of the UK signed the agreement on the formation of a joint venture company in 2000.
“By expanding our presence near our key government decision makers, AgustaWestland will be better able to meet the needs of our customers,” said Stephen C. Moss, President of AgustaWestland Inc. “This proximity will help us continue to anticipate the needs of the market and better position us for future success.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority assisted AgustaWestland with its decision to headquarter in Reston.
"Fairfax County's location near the nation's capital and its highly skilled and educated work force make it a perfect place for AgustaWestland to land,” said Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “The company will be a great addition to our aviation and aerospace industry sector."