Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, officially opened a new regional branch office in the United Arab Emirates this week. Located in the Capital Gate Tower in Abu Dhabi, the new facility will serve as a regional hub with personnel in place to facilitate sales and marketing efforts for Bell Helicopter.
“We see incredible potential for Bell Helicopter’s commercial business in the Middle East, and having a physical presence in Abu Dhabi is critical to developing relationships with our customers in the region,” said John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter. “Our innovative aircraft continue to meet our customer’s needs in a variety of missions, including VIP transport and charter, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), search and rescue, and oil and gas support. Now we have an office in Abu Dhabi so we can personally and consistently engage with our customers. We can take advantage of a new proximity with our customers, and provide them with the world-class aircraft and service Bell Helicopter is known for.”
A VIP reception was held to mark the opening of the new office in conjunction with the International Defense and Exhibition Conference (IDEX) defense show taking place this week in the United Arab Emirates capital.
“Bell Helicopter has had representatives in the region for decades, but we knew that this is the right time to open a physical office to better reach the growing number of customers in this region,” Garrison continued. “The UAE has diversified their economy beyond the oil and gas industry, made investments in their infrastructure and have become a world center of finance, real estate, retail and tourism. Add to this a loosening of restrictions on civil air traffic and the increasingly advanced high-tech health care systems here, it became clear now is the time to establish this office to demonstrate our commitment to customers in the region. Our aircraft consistently demonstrate innovation, reliability and performance, and they will meet the growing aviation needs of these markets.”
Bell Helicopter sister company Textron Systems is simultaneously opening a UAE office in the same Capital Gate Tower complex to serve its expanding roster of customers in the region. Textron Systems’ businesses develop and integrate products, services and support for aerospace and defense customers, as well as civil and commercial customers including those in law enforcement, security, border patrol and critical infrastructure protection around the globe. Its solution set includes unmanned systems, armored vehicles, advanced marine craft, precision weapon systems and intelligence software solutions.
In 2014, Bell Helicopter announced Abu Dhabi Aviation would be the lead regional customer for the Bell 525 Relentless. The Bell 525 is the world’s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter, designed to operate safely and reliably in austere environments with decreased pilot workload. The aircraft integrates critical systems data to be easily accessible at-a-glance with the first fully-integrated touch screen flight deck designed for helicopters, the Garmin G5000H®. Best-in-class payload, cabin, cargo volumes, comfort and egress complement the technological advancements on the aircraft. The Bell 525 is being tested in Bell Helicopter’s fully integrated System Integration Lab (SIL), allowing for virtual flight testing of the Bell 525 before first flight, which is scheduled for spring 2015.
The Bell 412EP is a popular choice for customers in the Middle East, and continues to be the cornerstone of mission critical helicopter operations throughout the world. Its dual digital automatic flight control system with available IFR option and Category A/JAR OPS 3 capability provides greater control and improved situational awareness. With a cruise speed of 122 knots (226 kph), range of 358 nautical miles (663 km) and an expansive cabin easily accommodating 13 passengers and two crew members, the Bell 412EP is capable of fitting multiple mission criteria. The Bell 412EP continues to offer reliable performance in some of the most extreme climates.