CENTRAL POINT, Ore. (AP) -- Heavy-lift helicopter company Erickson Air-Crane is moving its headquarters to Portland as part of expansion plans that will include a new model of aircraft and a change in its name.

The announcement came this week at the Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif.

The company remanufactures helicopters from existing Sikorsky hulls for use in fighting wildfires, logging timber, positioning drilling rigs and moving construction materials. It has been in Central Point since the 1970s, when its focus was on logging.

The company is gearing up to produce a new generation of air crane, and with that will come a new company name, said Udo Rieder, president and CEO.

"The guys joining our new leadership team were from bigger cities," Rieder told the Mail Tribune newspaper. "To attract guys like this, we've got to have a place they're willing to move to readily."

He added that air travel for sales and marketing will be easier out of Portland than Medford.

Erickson has leased a 7,196-square-foot office in Portland for a staff of about 20, half of which will come from the current headquarters in Central Point, said Rieder. The move will take place in coming weeks.

Manufacturing and maintenance operations employing about 500 will remain in Central Point.

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