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French firm announces Arkansas facility

September 17, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) — A French aircraft cabin interior manufacturer said Wednesday that it is spending $2.5 million to open a new facility in Arkansas that will initially employ 75 people.

Beaudet Aviation said its new facility is adjacent to the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport and that it will supply Dassault Falcon Jet with completion work for its Falcon models. Beaudet Aviation is a subsidiary of JCB Aero.

“We aspire to recreate an exact replica of JCB Aero in Little Rock, with regard to structure, management, production and especially quality,” Jean-Claude Beaudet, JCB Aero’s chairman, said through an interpreter at a news conference in downtown Little Rock.

Dassault Falcon broke ground earlier this month on a $60 million expansion of its private jet finishing plant.

Beaudet said he hopes the new Beaudet Aviation facility will employ 150 to 250 people within five years.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission said the project is receiving income tax credits based on the payroll of new jobs and sales tax refunds for building equipment and materials.

Gov. Mike Beebe called the announcement another boost for the state’s aerospace industry.

“We are starting to gain a reputation, not just around the country, but worldwide as a place for aerospace manufacturing, production, assembly and finishing,” Beebe said. “As a result of that, announcements such as Beaudet, as well as others, are hopefully precursors to many more announcements to come.”

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