PARIS: Seletar Aerospace Park has secured a new tenant in leading helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter.
Eurocopter will take up an 8,200 sq m space from the third quarter of next year. It will share the neighbourhood with aviation names such as Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, Singapore Technologies Aerospace and Jet Aviation, which have committed to taking up lots in the park.
Eurocopter is not new to Singapore. The headquarters of its South-east Asian arm, which handles sales and customer support activities in the region, has been in Singapore since 1977, and now operates out of Loyang Way near Changi Point.
Eurocopter SEA services 300 helicopters, including Super Puma helicopters, an aircraft used by the Singapore Armed Forces.
All its activities at the Loyang site will move to the company's premises at the Aerospace Park, which will cost €6.5 million (S$13.1 million) and have 25 per cent more space.
Eurocopter SEA president Bernhard Brenner said at the International Paris Air Show on Monday that the company is growing fast - with an expected 50 per cent growth in the number of customers - and, thus, needed more space for its flight operations.
He explained that the Aerospace Park's runway would enable the company to schedule helicopter test flights for its clients.
Eurocopter's move to the Aerospace Park is as much a vote for it as a place for its expanded operations.
Last February, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney - bitten by the economic recession - announced that they would postpone plans to open their facilities there.
The two engine makers are now expected to complete their projects next year at the earliest.
Economic Development Board managing director Beh Swan Gin said in a press statement on Monday that Eurocopter's decision to move to Seletar reinforced Singapore's status as the leading aerospace hub in Asia.
The 140ha park will be an aviation hub by 2018 and create 10,000 jobs in the aviation sector.
Industry players have identified strong long-term prospects for Singapore's aerospace industry.
Last year, the industry output exceeded $7 billion, up from $6.9 billion in 2007.Source: Straits Times, 17 June 2009