CENTRAL POINT — Global heavy-lift helicopter operator Erickson Air-Crane is moving its headquarters to Portland. Manufacturing and maintenance operations will continue in Southern Oregon.

(Updated, 2 p.m.) CENTRAL POINT — Global heavy lift helicopter operator Erickson Air-Crane is moving its headquarters to Portland and could have a new moniker as early as this spring.

Erickson Air-Crane announced its intentions at this week’s Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif. The firm began rebuilding and maintaining S-64 heavy lift helicopters commonly known as air cranes at its Willow Springs Road site just west of Interstate 5 in the mid-1970s.

Erickson President and Chief Executive Officer Udo Rieder said the company is gearing up to market and produce a modernized air crane in the coming months. The next generation aircraft, he said, is a segue to a corporate name change.

“We haven’t decided on a new name, moving us from Erickson Air-Crane to what we are today, but it will be something more related to with aerospace,” Rieder said. “We wanted to have it done for the helicopter show, but it’s probably three to six months away.”

Erickson has leased a 7,196-square-foot office at 5550 S.W. Macadam in Portland. The headquarters staff will number about 20, with about half that coming from Central Point. Manufacturing and maintenance operations, employing approximately 500, will continue in Southern Oregon. Rieder said the move will take place in two weeks.

“As we work our way through this,” Rieder said, “The (front-office) folks who are not going will be integrated into other parts of the company.”

Rieder said today the reasons for moving north were three-fold.
“The guys joining our new leadership team were from bigger cities,” Rieder said. “To attract guys like this, we’ve got to have a place they’re willing to move readily. Second, because we’re expanding there is going to be more travel, sales and marketing. It’s a lot easier to get in and out of Portland. Finally, from a pure image standpoint, with our growth, moving to Portland supports our growth image.”

— Greg Stiles