Luis Azua
Plant Director
Bell Textron
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Growing Ground Traffic Opens the Door to Air Travel

By Sofía Hanna | Tue, 08/16/2022 - 10:51

Q: How has Bell Textron stayed ahead in the helicopter market?

A: Bell Textron has been a proud provider of industry-leading corporate aircraft for more than 87 years. Globally, we are committed to enhancing our commercial and military products, but in Mexico, we focus on manufacturing commercial parts. We deliver the most technologically advanced and capable aircraft. Bell is investing in technologies and newly certified aircraft to deliver the most reliable and cost-competitive solutions and aircraft. We also continue to grow our after-market services to support the customer. We offer 24/7 maintenance services globally. 


In addition, we have introduced hybrid and electric products like the Autonomous Pod Transport (APT), as well as Autonomy & safety enhancements such as the Electrically Distributed Anti-Torque (EDAT), which helps the helicopter's maneuverability.


Q: How big is the rotorcraft market in Mexico and how has the country helped the brand to expand its presence?

A: Mexico is an important country for Bell, which has many loyal customers in the country. Having a manufacturing plant allows the brand to be recognized in the country. Mexico provides a significant opportunity because its market is growing. We build helicopters that save lives. The Mexican branch adds value to the company and helps expand the business.


Q: How have you integrated a sustainable approach to your production process and end solutions?

A: We are adopting electrification and sustainable technologies for future commercial aircraft. We are also always looking for safety and autonomy enhancements for helicopters. Digital innovation and AI have also become critical components of our sustainable solutions and products. We are also investing in new technology for our factories to be used in new concept aircraft and help increase speed, efficiency and production capability for the new vertical lift concepts like high-speed take-off and vertical landings (HSVTOL) that will eventually come into the market.


Q: Given the difficulties the industry is experiencing, how does Bell Textron plan to continue to move forward and help the industry recover?

A: Some challenges to overcome pertain to air traffic, especially due to the logistics problems the world faces. In the private sector, the helicopter market keeps growing as more corporations are using helicopters as their main means for executive transportation. As ground traffic increases, air traffic becomes an increasingly viable transport and delivery solution.


Q: How does your supplier diversity program work and how has that been impacted by your procurement processes?

A: Our strategy is to ally with well-known high-performance suppliers that are fully established in Mexico. We have great suppliers in the country, but we also help new suppliers expand their capabilities to meet Bell Textron’s specifications. Tier 1 suppliers have been really receptive to our growth strategy, which is important because of the generated production chain.


Q: What opportunities do you see to strengthen your local supply chain and what are the main challenges to achieve this?

A: The current lack of raw materials is affecting the entire sector. The aerospace sector has had a strong presence in Mexico for years, but we also supply other industries, allowing us to develop diverse solutions and increase volumes. Nearshoring is becoming a reality, so we need to be the best in México to get the most out of this phenomenon.


Bell Textron is an aerospace manufacturer headquartered in Texas. The company has been manufacturing military and commercial rotorcraft for over 85 years and is now focused on revolutionizing on-demand mobility.

Sofía Hanna Sofía Hanna Journalist and Industry Analyst