- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Bell Helicopter has committed to operating in Lafayette for the next two years.

Lafayette Regional Airport Executive Director Steven Picou tells The Advertiser (https://bit.ly/2bhVWr7) the company is about to begin modifications to the 82,300-square-foot manufacturing facility.

The facility was designed to be a manufacturing center for Bell’s 505 Jet X Ranger helicopter. The state paid $26.3 million to build the airport-owned assembly center.

Bell has been leasing the facility and committed to making an additional $11.5 million capital investment in equipment and tooling.

In May, Bell announced that it was pulling its 505 Ranger X helicopter operation from Lafayette and moving it to Canada. Company President and CEO Mitch Snyder blamed a struggling market on the decision to move the operation but said Bell remains “committed to Lafayette.”

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