Shreveport’s Metro Aviation makes huge aircraft purchase

Today, Metro Aviation announced plans to purchase, customize and place in-service 25 Airbus EC145e helicopters, a move that secures Metro Aviation’s status as one of the nation’s largest providers of air medical transport helicopters and related aerial services.

In 2015, Metro became the first Airbus customer for the EC145e helicopter, a lighter-weight and lower-cost version of the EC145 aircraft, one of nine categories of helicopters for which Metro Aviation has provided completion kits and custom aircraft services. While specializing in kits, components and avionics packages for air medical transport and law enforcement customers, the company has extensive experience in offshore, utility, VIP and corporate aircraft as well.

Louisiana Economic Development has supported Metro Aviation through the State of Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program, which provides temporary property tax relief on new capital investment by expanding Louisiana manufacturers. In recent years, the LED program supported the investment of more than $10 million for expanded facilities and helicopter simulator equipment at Metro Aviation’s flight training center.

“Over more than three decades, Metro Aviation has grown to become an increasingly important economic driver in Northwest Louisiana and for our entire state,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Metro Aviation converted a dormant manufacturing site in Shreveport into a state-of-the-art aerospace facility, and we recognize this major Airbus purchase agreement as further evidence of Metro Aviation’s commitment to excellence for its customers, for its employees and for our state’s growing aerospace industry.”

With nearly 900 employees nationwide, Metro Aviation employs 150 people at its Shreveport headquarters, which also serves as an FAA-certified airframe modification, maintenance, inspection and repair facility. The company offers avionics; machining; engine overhaul and repair; painting; maintenance; and completion services at the 160,000-square-foot facility that includes a major helicopter flight training center. For the 25 Airbus helicopters, Metro Aviation has identified significant market growth for the EC145e after having placed a number of them into service already.

“The versatility and price-point made it an attractive addition to a large number of rotary wing fleets, and we have put seven in service since committing to our first purchase in 2015,” said Metro Aviation President Mike Stanberry. “The EC145e model has proven to be a workhorse across various mission profiles, and we are excited about putting these new aircraft into service within our family of customers.”

“This order is the result of the years our company has invested in building and nurturing a great business relationship with the leadership of Metro Aviation, and providing them with world-class aircraft and customer support,” said President Christopher Emerson of Airbus Helicopters Inc. “We look forward to working closely with Metro as they expand their business.”

Metro Aviation Inc., based in Shreveport, is a worldwide provider of completion services for all missions and types of helicopters, and specializes in the EC135 and EC145, with several Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) developed by the company for these and other aircraft. Metro is an FAA-approved repair station, approved Airbus Service Center and FAR Part 135 air medical operations provider at several locations across the United States.