Safran inaugurates Messier-Dowty’s George Messier plant in Bidos

Bidos, France, September 17, 2010

Yves Leclère, Safran group Executive vice president, Aircraft Equipment branch, inaugurated today Messier-Dowty's new assembly facility in Bidos, France. Alain Rousset, President of the Aquitaine regional council, Jean Castaings, President of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques general council and Pascal Sénéchal, Chairman and CEO of Messier-Dowty also officiated the ceremony.

A site revitalization plan in response to market evolutions
The construction of this assembly facility marks the culmination of a €40 million modernisation plan launched to revitalize the Bidos site in response to market evolutions.

The objectives of "Bidos 2008-2010" are three-fold:

  • Develop the technical means and processes to ensure a successful ramp-up for new programs (787, A350 XWB, A400M, etc.),
  • Maintain competitiveness of French sites through an increase in skill levels
  • Implement environmentally-responsible and sustainable industrial processes

Within the framework of this modernization plan, Messier-Dowty (Bidos) has undertaken major projects such as the creation of a fully automated, state-of-the-art heat treatment unit, a completely revamped production line for landing gear sliders and the construction of an effluent treatment plant. The latest addition to this project includes the assembly facility inaugurated today, named after George Messier, pioneer of the French landing gear industry and co-founder of the original Messier company.

Spanning some 8 000m², the new facility now houses the site's entire assembly operations and supply chain activities. A co-located working environment and extensive production capacity (greater than 2000 landing gears per year) have greatly enhanced the facility's capacity to service customers.

During his speech, Yves Leclère stated, "Inaugurating a new plant such as this one is always a privileged experience. This investment reflects the vitality of our Group and confidence placed in the future of Safran and Messier-Dowty. It also illustrates our commitment to maintaining and strengthening employment in France, in particular in the Aquitaine region, as well as continuing to invest in innovation in the years to come."

Exemplary local support
Messier-Dowty also received substantial local and regional support during the project. The towns of Oloron-Sainte-Marie and Bidos, the Communauté de Communes du Piémont Oloronais, the Pyrénées-Atlantiques General Council, the Aquitaine Regional Council, l'Agence de l'Eau Adour Garonne together with the Pyrénées-Atlantiques prefecture played a critical role in facilitating the project.

* * *

Messier-Dowty, a Safran group company, is the world leader in the design, development, manufacture and support of landing gear systems. Messier-Dowty landing gear are in service on more than 20,500 aircraft making over 35,000 landings every day.  The company supplies 33 airframe manufacturers and supports 3,000 operators of large commercial aircraft, regional and business aircraft, military aircraft and helicopters. Messier-Dowty is also the majority shareholder of the worldwide MRO network, Messier Services. Messier-Dowty and Messier Services together have 4,500 employees across sites in Europe, North America and Asia.

Messier-Dowty Press Contact
Alison JOLY
Zone Aéronautique Louis Breguet
78140 Velizy Cedex, France
Tel +33 (0)6 74 09 86 54
Fax +33 (0)1 46 29 18 03
alison.joly@messier-dowty.com