Arista Aviation Services CEO Rich Enderle announced today at the Paris Air Show that his Enterprise-based company has signed a deal to sell four modified UH-60A helicopters to the International Defense and Aerospace Group LLC (IDAG).
Gov. Kay Ivey joined Enderle at the Made in Alabama booth at the air show to mark the deal that enhances Arista’s growth prospects by launching a business line centered on commercial sales.
“I have visited Arista Aviation on several occasions, and I’ve been very impressed with the way the company has grown and added jobs over a short period of time,” Ivey said.
“It’s a shining example of an Alabama company finding success, and I believe this new chapter in its operation will bring even more of it,” she said.
Arista has primarily focused on maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities since it launched operations in Enterprise in 2014. The company operates from a 65,000-square-foot hangar and has 150 employees.
The transaction with IDAG represents the first commercial sale of modified Black Hawk helicopters for Arista.
“With the growth in commercial sales and the growth in the government contracts we’re pursuing right now, I anticipate we’ll expand our footprint in Enterprise, nearly doubling the hangar facility and adding another 50 to 100 jobs,” Enderle said.
As an FFA-certified Part 145 Repair Station, Arista performs maintenance and overhaul on a large fleet of rotary wing aircraft, including the UH-60 Black Hawk and the UH-1 Huey, for the U.S. government. The full-scope work includes modifications and upgrades, repairs and paint, as well as test flights.
The aircraft in the IDAG transaction were acquired by Arista through the Army’s BEST divestiture program. The aircraft, which carry a Restricted Category Type Certificate, can be used both in the U.S. and in approved foreign countries for multiple purposes including firefighting, training, utility work or search and rescue.
“Since Arista came to Enterprise in 2014, it has really had a significant impact on the region, and the company’s diversification is a way to create jobs and increase stability in the operation,” said Jonathan Tullos, executive director of the Wiregrass Economic Development Authority.
“We look forward to seeing Arista continue to grow, and we think the future is bright.”
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.