Bell Helicopter celebrates new training academy

Celebrating the recent opening of Bell Helicopter's Fort Worth training center are, from left, state Rep. Tony Tinderholt; Ray Lamas, general manager of global customer training, Bell Helicopter; Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley; Bell Helicopter president and CEO John Garrison; Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price; U.S. Congressman Joe Barton; Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes; state Rep. Chris Turner; and Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Bill Thornton.

Bell Helicopter this week cut the ribbon on its new Bell Helicopter Training Academy in Fort Worth.

Attending the Wednesday Aug. 5 festivities were U.S. Congressman Joe Barton, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, as well as Bell Helicopter president and CEO John Garrison.

“We continue to invest in our future to ensure we remain a global leader in the industry,” Garrison said in a news release.

“This is the final step in completing our consolidation efforts in the North Texas area, and we are proud of the Bell Helicopter team, community, customers and partners that made this vision a success,” Garrison said.

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Whitley called the opening great news not only for Fort Worth, but also the surrounding area.

“Tarrant County is proud to partner with Bell Helicopter on these corporate revitalization efforts, and the new construction and roadway improvements are a real boost to this area and should benefit every city in this part of the county,” Whitley said.

The academy is the final step in moving to the main corporate campus as part of Bell Helicopter’s consolidation efforts in the North Texas area. Bell, a Textron company, began with the global headquarters groundbreaking in October 2012. With this week’s move, the firm has consolidated more than 1.2 million square feet of excess space and now saves $19 million in annual operating expenses.

“The city of Forth Worth is proud to be home to Bell Helicopter’s global headquarters, and we will be right beside all of you in the months and years ahead,” Price said.

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The 86,000-square-foot facility features full flight simulators, new and updated flight technology demonstrators, a dedicated tower and flight line, as well as a maintenance hangar and classrooms.

The company has trained more than 134,000 customers since 1946 in more than 135 countries worldwide.