Safran sites along the 2017 Tour de France route
The Tour often visits neighboring countries during its early stages. Thus, for the second stage of the 2017 edition of the Tour de France, on Sunday July 2, the finish line was in Liège. Liège is an important city for Safran because it is the headquarters of Safran Aero Boosters. This Group entity, with a 1,450-strong workforce, is a leader in the field of low pressure compressors, lubrication systems, and flow regulation valves for aircraft engines and space launcher fuel tanks. Safran Aero Boosters also designs test cells for testing all types of aircraft engines.
On the 4th stage, which took place on Tuesday, July 4, between Mondorf-les-Bains and Vittel, the cyclists passed through Commercy (in the northeast of France), home to one of the two Safran Aéro Composite plants specialized in the manufacture of 3D woven composite parts for the LEAP® engine (the creation of a third plant in Mexico was announced at the beginning of 2016). This site, inaugurated in 2016, will have 400 employees by 2018, consequently making Safran a significant employer in the region.
On the road to Nuits-Saint-Georges (7th stage, on Friday, July 7), the cyclists passed close to Dijon (Côte-d'Or), a city where Safran Electronics & Defense operates a center of excellence specializing in high-precision optronics, and more specifically in sights.
During the 10th stage, the cyclists raced from Périgueux to Bergerac. This route winding through the heart of the Dordogne took them close to Nexon, the location of the Safran Filtration Systems site. This company produces filtration systems designed to purify fluids (air, gas, water, fuels, oils and hydraulic fluids) and to protect facilities (in particular through decontamination solutions) in the aeronautics, space and defense industries.
In Bordes, on the route of the 11th stage arriving in Pau on Wednesday, July 12, the cyclists passed close to the Safran Helicopter Engines site in Bordes where various helicopter engines "made by Safran" (one out of every three helicopter engines sold worldwide) are designed, produced and tested. Let us also mention the Arrano turbines powering Airbus Helicopters' H160, the Arriel 2D engines for Airbus Helicopters' H125 and H130, and the Ardiden 3G that equips the Kamov Ka-62.
Still on the road to Pau, the riders passed close to the Safran Landing Systems plant in Bidos, where landing gears for the Airbus A320neo or Dassault Aviation's Falcon 8X are assembled.
Blagnac & Toulouse
Safran is the third largest aeronautics employer in the southwestern region of Occitanie, where it is especially present in the Toulouse area. In Blagnac, the starting point for the stage of Saturday, July 15, Safran has a new site inaugurated in 2016, where five companies (Safran Electrical & Power, Safran Electronics & Defense, Safran Aircraft Engines, Safran Engineering Services and Safran SA) form a cluster with a workforce of 1,300 employees. In Toulouse, Safran Power Units has a workforce of more than 500 employees. Safran Ceramics, Safran Landing Systems, Safran Nacelles and Safran Ventilation Systems also have one or more plants in the area.
During the July 18 stage between Le Puy-en-Velay and Romans sur Isère, the peloton passed close to Valence, where Safran Electronics & Defense operates a site dedicated to the study, development, production and testing of electronic equipment and embedded software.
Montgeron -> Paris
The last stage of the Tour de France, which was held on Sunday 23 July between Montgeron (Essonne) and the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris, took the riders close to the Massy site where Safran Electronics & Defense employs over 2,000 staff, primarily working in the field of R&D for different avionics, electronics and optronics programs.
Finally, on arriving in Paris, and just before reaching the Champs-Elysées for the sprint finish, the cyclists crossed the Pont du Garigliano, which is near the historic headquarters of Safran (the Martial Valin building).