SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA (MAY 6, 2013) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced today that one of its customers in China, State Grid General Aviation (SGGA), is flying a Bell 407 in disaster relief missions in Sichuan Province to aid with recovery efforts after a massive earthquake severely damaged the city of Ya’an on Saturday, April 20. SGGA’s Bell 407 is performing power line inspections, making sure that the power grid remains operational during the Sichuan relief operations.
“We are proud to be a part of the disaster relief efforts SGGA is performing for the citizens in Sichuan Province,” said Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of Sales and Marketing. “SGGA operates the largest fleet of Bell helicopters in China, and we are honored they choose Bell products to carry out their missions.”
General aviation companies, like SGGA, play an important role in emergency rescue in China. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Southwest Bureau is prepared to manage commercial helicopter operators supporting the earthquake rescue underway in Sichuan Province.
The 6.6 magnitude earthquake has resulted in 192 deaths, more than 11,000 injuries and 10,000 damaged houses throughout the county. Helicopters are essential in recovery efforts as hard-hit parts of the area remain unreachable by road, with several highways cut off.
SGGA was established on December 29, 2002 as a government-owned enterprise approved by the State Council to conduct government authorized investment activities. The mission of the company is to provide safe, economical, clean and sustainable electric power for social and economic development. Its core business is the construction and operation of a power network that covers 26 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. Its service area represents 88% of the national territory, supported by more than 1,500,000 employees to serve a population of over one billion.