Fort Worth, TX, and Wichita, KS - March 22, 2012 - Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) companies Bell Helicopter and Cessna Aircraft Company announced today that their joint service facility, operated by Aviation Service a.s. in Prague, Czech Republic, has received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 145 Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) certification.
"Growing our customer support and services around the globe is a strategic priority for Bell Helicopter and this joint facility is an important step in growing our presence in Europe," said R. Danny Maldonado, senior vice president and Chief Services Officer for Bell Helicopter.
"This joint Cessna and Bell facility is bringing first-class support and maintenance to our customers in this region," said Dave Brant, Cessna's senior vice president, Customer Service. "With the growing fleet of Citations in eastern and central Europe, business already has been brisk."
This certification allows for maintenance, inspection, repair and component overhaul options applicable to the Bell 206, 407, 412, 427, and 429. It gives Cessna the capability to perform base and line maintenance - including systems, avionics and power plant support - for all Citations except for the Citation CJ3, CJ4 and the Citation X, but training is planned to incorporate those models in 2012.
"This facility expands our capabilities to perform maintenance and overhauls on the Bell Helicopter European fleets, and to incorporate customizing and completion services on new Bell aircraft to be delivered into this growing region," said Gordon Harveson, general manager, Bell Helicopter Europe.
"Cessna has a large fleet of aircraft operating in Europe. This new facility in Prague is a significant step toward providing our operators a more comprehensive customer service and support experience in their region," said Scott Nelson, Cessna's Prague Service Center Maintenance Manager.
In addition to this new customer service and support capability in Prague, it is also the European headquarters for regional commercial sales for Bell Helicopter. This 12,440 square foot facility will also be where Cessna's second Mobile Service Unit, in central Europe, will currently be positioned. The MSU will complement the maintenance work done there for Citations by traveling to customers in surrounding areas.
About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.
About Cessna Aircraft Company
Cessna is the world's leading general aviation company. Since its inception in 1927, Cessna has designed, produced and delivered more than 192,500 airplanes around the globe. This includes more than 6,100 Citation business jets, making it the largest fleet of business jets in the world. Today, Cessna has two principal lines of business: aircraft sales and aftermarket services. Aircraft sales include Citation business jets, Caravan single-engine utility turboprops, single-engine piston aircraft and lift solutions by CitationAir. Aftermarket services include parts, maintenance, inspection and repair services. In 2010, Cessna delivered 535 aircraft, including 179 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of $2.6 billion. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at www.cessna.com.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com.