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Helicopter training academy planned for former Quartz Mountain Aerospace headquarters at Altus

Sikorsky Aerospace Services announced Friday it will open a flight training and maintenance academy in mid 2013, bringing 75 to 100 jobs to Altus.
by Jennifer Palmer Published: October 27, 2012
/articleid/3722643/1/pictures/1867248">Photo - A Black Hawk helicopter by Sikorsky, which announced Friday it will open a training center in Altus.  PHOTO PROVIDED
A Black Hawk helicopter by Sikorsky, which announced Friday it will open a training center in Altus. PHOTO PROVIDED

The facility was once home to Quartz Mountain Aerospace. After receiving millions of tax credits from the state, the company laid off most of its 150-member workforce in late 2008 and filed for bankruptcy in October of 2009. Remnants of the company were auctioned off in 2010. The company's demise was a blow to the Altus community.

Friday's announcement brings the potential for a new beginning.

“This facility is one that has had its ups and downs, and mostly downs,” Inhofe said. “Now that it's all cleaned up and ready to go, it exactly fits the needs of Sikorsky.”

Sikorsky operates on five continents and employs 18,000 people worldwide. The Altus academy will be the company's first venture into Oklahoma.

Since 1978, Sikorsky has delivered more than 3,700 Black Hawks to more than 25 countries, and the aircraft are used for missions including border protection, supporting the war against terrorism, humanitarian relief and the war on drugs. Sikorsky recently signed a five-year contract to provide hundreds more of the helicopters to the U.S. Army, Jackson said.

Sikorsky Aerospace Services is the worldwide aftermarket business of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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