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

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 (', 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 Lecère 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.

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