Prime Minister David Cameron and French President François Hollande, together with their respective defense ministers Philip Hammond and Jean-Yves Le Drian, announced a series of new defense deals, building on the greater co-operation between the countries outlined in the 2010 Lancaster House agreement.
At the Monaco Yacht Show in September, Eurocopter exhibited a “collectable art” EC135 helicopter with a distinctive zig-zag, blue-on-white livery aboard the 282-foot super-yacht Quattronelle.
Helicopter operator Inaer, which is part of the Avincis group, has been awarded a five-year contract for emergency medical services in France’s Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Starting January 1, five Eurocopter EC135T2+s will be dedicated to Marseille, Avignon, Toulon, Nice and Gap hospitals. Avignon and Marseille bases will be subcontracted to Mont Blanc Hélicoptères, with the latter city’s helicopter being available around the clock. It is the first time a contract that includes several hospitals has been signed in France.
It isn’t an easy task, stepping into the footprint of someone such as Gérard Dailloux–who served Dassault Aviation (Booth No. N6100) for nearly 30 years–but Frédéric Leboeuf, a pilot and 20-year veteran of the French Navy, is up for the challenge. Leboeuf, based at Dassault Aviation’s Saint-Cloud headquarters in Paris, France, will head the Falcon operational support department, which oversees all aspects of flight operations. The department assists owner-operators with their new aircraft deliveries and also trains pilots and audits pilot-training providers.
Dassault Aviation unveiled its long-awaited Falcon 5X at the company’s static display here at NBAA 2013 yesterday afternoon. “Some of you have come a long way,” Dassault Falcon Jet president and CEO John Rosanvallon said in welcoming the 200 or so attendees to the company’s pavilion. “I assure you, you will not be disappointed.”
Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA) has purchased the majority of shares of Aéroport du Golfe de Saint-Tropez (AGST), which operates Gulf of Saint-Tropez Airport. With more than 42,500 aircraft movements last year, Cote d’Azur ranks as the second busiest business airport in France behind only Paris Le Bourget, and the new acquisition will add another 7,000 movements to that total. The French Riviera gateway features recently renovated facilities and contributes to the economic development of the region. A study last year recognized the airport’s economic impact at approximately €170 million.
Lyon Bron Airport in southeast France (Booth 664), some 70 miles southwest of Geneva, enjoyed 7.5-percent growth in business aviation traffic during the first three months of this year. This came on the heels of 7.5-percent growth for the whole of last year–to 6,359 aircraft movements–ranking Lyon Bron the third busiest French airport for business aviation. The growing roster of new operators at the field and planned construction are giving the local officials cause for continued optimism.
“Engineered with Passion” is more than a clever catchphrase. At Dassault Aviation, it effectively summarizes a company-wide culture. Even though the image of engineers doesn’t normally go hand in hand with passion, in this case, the apparent contradiction seems appropriate. Dassault Group has built a world-class family of companies; a strategically balanced portfolio, including design production and support of military and civilian aircraft; and the Group’s signature technology company, Dassault Systèmes.
At the LIMA show, Dassault signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a local partnership with Strand Aerospace Malaysia. The aircraft components company, which was founded in 2006, is expected to support Dassault in engineering projects. The alliance will see a group of Strand engineers deployed to Dassault’s facility in Bordeaux, France, to get involved in design work for Falcons. “The business jet technology from Dassault Aviation is opening the door for us and will add a further feather in our cap,” said Strand Aerospace Malaysia CEO Naguib Mohd Nor.
At press time a French-operated Falcon 50 was grounded in the Dominican Republic, according to a TV report by France’s TF1, after it was involved in a major drug bust in Punta Cana in March. The Dominican counter-drug police discovered about 1,500 pounds of cocaine (with a street value of approximately $26 million) packed in 26 suitcases placed in the hold and the cabin. The three French pilots and one French passenger were arrested just before takeoff, with the engines already running for a departure to Saint-Tropez Airport, France, according to TF1. All four people were jailed.