Airbus Helicopters starts construction of H135 helicopter assembly line in China


Airbus Helicopters has begun construction of its first assembly line in Qingdao, Shandong Province, eastern China.

The new H135 final assembly line (FAL) is first-of-its-kind both for Airbus Helicopters and the Western helicopter industry in China.

Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury said: “This ground-breaking is a remarkable milestone for Airbus Helicopters’ global footprint and demonstrates our commitment to further enhancing our industrial cooperation with China’s rapidly growing aviation industry.

“We are confident that this project will achieve a win-win solution to fulfill the requirements of local customers while supporting the development of crucial helicopter services for the benefit of Chinese citizens.”

Under a framework agreement signed last June, the company will assemble 100 units of H135 helicopters over the next ten years.

The first helicopter is expected to be rolled-out from Qingdao in the middle of 2019.

“We are confident that this project will achieve a win-win solution to fulfill the requirements of local customers while supporting the development of crucial helicopter services for the benefit of Chinese citizens.”

With construction expected to be completed by next year, the new FAL will have a total annual capacity of 18 H135 helicopters, which can be extended for future growth.

Located in Jimo Provincial Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, the new facility will be operated by Airbus Helicopters in collaboration with Qingdao United General Aviation Company (UGAC).

UGAC is a joint venture between China Aviation Supplies (CAS) and Qingdao United General Aviation Industrial Development Company (UGA).

The twin-engine H135 helicopters primarily operate for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), search-and-rescue, law enforcement, firefighting and tourism.


Image: Airbus Helicopters’ H135 FAL. Photo: © of Airbus Helicopters / Charles Abarr.