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Tue, Mar 02, 2010

Bell Helicopter Expands European Service Network

Acquires Prague-Based Company For Modifications, Upgrades

Bell Helicopter announced the acquisition of Aviation Service, Monday. The Prague-based company provides modifications and upgrades, avionics and special mission packages in the Czech Republic, and reports annual revenues of about $14 million.

"Bell is committed to meeting the needs of our European customers; this acquisition allows us to more rapidly provide support and service to this important region," said John L. Garrison, Bell president and CEO. "This facility provides us with the capabilities to meet the maintenance and modernization needs of Bell's current European fleet of aircraft, while providing a foundation to accommodate future growth with local completion and customizing capability for new aircraft deliveries."

"This central European location will further enhance our industry-leading Customer Support and Service organization, bringing the complete suite of Bell's support and service offerings closer to our European customers," said Danny Maldonado, senior vice president of Customer Support and Services and Chief Service Officer. "Supporting the European fleet is a priority for Bell, acquiring Aviation Service is one of the first steps to increase Bell's rising presence in Europe."

As part of the new acquisition Bell expects to be able to generate supplemental type certifications to meet customer requirements, building on Aviation Service's EASA Part 21 Design Organization and 145 Repair Station certifications.

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Gordon Harveson, general manager Bell Europe and a long-time leader at Bell, will take the helm of the new operation. Among his recent accomplishments, Harveson managed the Bell Customer Supply Center in Amsterdam, a facility he will once again have responsibility for. "Building on the existing experience of Aviation Service, the introduction of the 429 and the world class supply capabilities at our Amsterdam facility, this acquisition signals the commitment of Bell in the European market," said Harveson.

FMI: www.bellhelicopter.com

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