Dassault Falcon Service (DFS), a subsidiary of Dassault Aviation, recently began work on a new maintenance facility in Bordeaux-Mérignac to expand its Falcon overhaul capability.
Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman/CEO and Jean Kayanakis, General Manager, Dassault Falcon Service, were present at the groundbreaking ceremony, which was also attended by a large number of elected officials, including Alain Rousset, President of the Regional Council; Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux; the Mayor of Mérignac, Alain Anziani; and Marie Recalde, a Member of Parliament and the French Defense Committee. The event was also attended by representatives of government agencies and of the aerospace industry in the Aquitaine region.
The new building will be built alongside the Dassault Aviation plant in Bordeaux-Mérignac, within the airport perimeter, adjacent to a site owned by Sabena Technics, with which it has signed an industrial partnership. Covering some 7,200 square meters, the DFS hangar will be able to accommodate up to six Falcon 7X, 8X and 5X aircraft. The new facility will complement DFS’s existing MRO (Maintenance Repair & Overhaul) installations at Le Bourget Airport near Paris.
“The Mérignac MRO center will allow Dassault Falcon Service to keep up with the steady growth in the Falcon fleet, which already numbers more than 2,000 aircraft worldwide and will expand further with the arrival of the new Falcon 8X next year.” said Trappier.
The new facility is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2016, in time to handle the C check ramp-up for the Falcon 7X. Some 250 Falcon 7X’s are now in operation and the fleet leaders are now approaching their first heavy maintenance checks which are required every eight years.
However, the facility will also be designed to handle a full range of maintenance activities in addition to C checks, including structural repair, cabin refurbishment and modifications, avionics upgrades, carpentry and paintwork.
The DFS Mérignac MRO center will be able to draw on engineering resources at the nearby Dassault Aviation site, as well as the large pool of skilled aviation workers and subcontractors in the Bordeaux area. DFS recently finalized an agreement with Aerocampus Aquitaine, a local aviation training center, to help recruit and train the 70 technicians and specialists who are ultimately expected to staff the facility.