Nowra chosen for new $40m helicopter test facility

1 June 2011

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner and Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock have congratulated BAE Systems and AgustaWestland on their decision to select Nowra for the location of a new $40 million helicopter transmission testing facility.

The Multi-Purpose Test Bench will be a world class helicopter transmission test facility, the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The facility will support the Australian Defence Force’s helicopter fleets and provide global support opportunities.

Mr Stoner said the NSW Government had helped secure the investment with assistance from the Office of Trade, Business & Industry.

“This is fantastic news for Nowra, the Shoalhaven and for NSW and its defence aerospace industry,” Mr Stoner said.

“The NSW Government is committed to attracting investment into NSW and we have worked closely with AgustaWestland and BAE Systems to ensure this investment was located in regional NSW."

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said today’s announcement was a great boost for the local economy.

“Nowra is the ideal choice with its strong skills base, proven helicopter servicing operations and access to Canberra. I welcome this decision by BAE Systems and AgustaWestland," Mrs Hancock said.

“AgustaWestland is Europe’s leading helicopter manufacturer and provider and BAE Systems one of the world’s most capable through-life-support partners with an outstanding record in rotary wing maintenance and support.

“Locating the Multi-Purpose Test Bench in NSW will provide the greatest access to skilled workers who will be critical to the ongoing success of the operation.

“The establishment of this world class Multi Purpose Test Bench (MPTB) will strengthen the Shoalhaven as an Asia Pacific centre of excellence for helicopter services.

“10 new jobs are expected to be created in the first stage, with significant growth expected over the long term,” she said.