Airbus inaugurates helicopter parts plant in Hungary


Photo by MTI/Tibor Rosta

Airbus inaugurated a helicopter parts plant in Gyula (194 km southeast of Budapest) on Thursday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

The 13,000 sqm plant will turn out high precision steel and titanium parts for the dynamic systems and airframes of Airbus helicopters. The base will be Airbus's only site of production for the parts.

Technology and Innovation Minister Laszlo Palkovics called the plant's certification by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) a "historical moment".

He said the government decided on Wednesday to earmark a further HUF 250 billion for defense industry developments, on top of HUF 220 bln allocated four years earlier, paving the way for the establishment of more defense industry partnerships and investments.

"From today onward, there will be no Airbus helicopters without Gyula," Gáspár Maróth, state secretary for defense industry developments, said. He added that the government approved a 10-point crisis recovery plan at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, and two of the points were developing the defense industry and boosting FDI. 

He said the government has a "personal stake" in the success of the venture as it owns 30% of Airbus Helicopters Hungary.

Airbus Helicopters Hungary managing director Andreas Stockle noted that an agreement with the state of Hungary on establishing the joint venture was signed four years earlier, the JV was set up two years ago, and the plant was certified by the EASA on Friday.

Airbus Helicopters executive VP for operations Laurent Mazoue said 50 people are employed at the plant in July, but that number will rise by year-end and reach 250 "within a few years".

Gyula Mayor Ernő Görgényi said the start of production at the plant marked the "beginning of a new era" for the city, one founded on industrial development that draws on the knowledge of trained professionals.


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