Bell Helicopter is set to begin a $55 million expansion project at its Grand Prairie manufacturing plant. The expansion is part of the company’s plan to boost production of helicopter components and spare parts. According to Bell, it is adding 60,000 square feet that will serve as a “heat, treat and process facility” that will be used as a center for heating and chemical treating new parts and applying coatings. When completed, the addition will enable Bell to increase machining and fabrication in the existing plant.

Bell’s Grand Prairie facility produces transmissions, gearboxes and components for helicopters and the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. It employs approximately 1,300 people, half of which are machinists. The new facility will meet the latest safety and environmental standards.