The company, which is a subsidiary of Rome-based FinmeccanicaSPA, is headquartered in the UK and has offices in Reston, VA, andplants and offices in Italy and the UK. It came to Philadelphia inthe early 1980s, opened a 75,000-sf maintenance facility in 1988and completed the 168,000-sf assembly addition this year.

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In addition to the assembly of a growing line of commercialhelicopters, this facility also provides customer support for afleet of more than 360 helicopters in the Americas and providesflight and maintenance training activities. The new expansion willadd 150 new jobs and take the company's overall local employmentabove 500.

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The state has provided $400,000 for the project. The packageincludes a $200,000 opportunity grant and $200,000 in job creationtax credits. In 2004, the Governor's Action Team provided slightlymore than $2 million for the $6.8-million expansion that was justcompleted. "It was an easy decision to allocate additional statedollars to aid in the continued expansion of this establishedinternational corporation," Gov. Ed Rendell says in astatement.

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Among the helicopters assembled here is the AW139 medium twinturbine helicopter. "The decision to expand this facility andestablish the second AW139 assembly line in Philadelphia highlightsour growing presence in the US and our commitment to expand andinvest in the US," says Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, in a statement. Thereis increasing demand for this model in VIP transport, lawenforcement and homeland security in the US, he notes.

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