BellAero Expansion

By: Erica Proffer
By: Erica Proffer

New jobs and improvements are coming to Ozark's Blackwell Field.

Bell helicopter officials will soon break ground for the first of a three-phase expansion project. This project is looking to create around 350 new jobs in Ozark, but that's after the completion of all three phases.

The first phase is about to begin in less than a week. Construction crews are now clearing land, getting ready for the groundbreaking of the phase one of the expansion project of the BellAero facility.

Phase one improvements consist of 175,000 square feet of new apron and connectors, new 30,000 square feet flight operations hangar, utilities, and operational support structures.

"It’s a big deal for our community. There’s just no question about it. It’s just absolutely a big deal and we are delighted," said Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting.

BellAero has committed $7 million in local funs for the phase one improvements, but what many people around Ozark are looking forward to is the approximately 150 new jobs that will come from this phase.

"When they finish all of their phases they have the potential of being the largest employer in the city with the greatest payroll, and perhaps the best paying jobs on average," said Bunting.

Phase two and three will include an additional 90,000 square feet production hangar, more taxiway connectors, new employee parking, and additional support structures.

Phases two and three will cost about $20 to $25 million invested by BellAero, and officials say those phases should add an additional 200 jobs.

So, we're looking at about 350 new jobs coming to Ozark after these phases are complete. Officials at BellAero wanted to wait until the groundbreaking to do any interviews. Phase one groundbreaking ceremonies will be held onsite at BellAero facilities on October 23 at 10 a.m.


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