Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer ATR is expanding the use of Toulouse/Francazal airport, located to the south west of the city, with the creation of a fully accredited maintenance facility. It was officially opened on July 4, following approval and certification by the Organisme pour la Sécurité de L’Aviation Civile (OSAC), the French body for civil aviation safety.
ATR has invested substantially in Toulouse/Francazal to secure high-quality facilities over the long-term. The opening of the first hangar, which can accommodate two aircraft at a time, required a total overhaul and modernisation of the 1934 vintage structure before adapting it to its new use. The hangar will be complemented by the construction of a new 12,920 sq ft (1,200m²) building that will accommodate up to 80 people.
The facility will amalgamate ATR’s Part 145 maintenance activities for all of its 200 plus customers worldwide, providing maintenance, servicing, repairs as well as related training. Qualified ATR teams based at the site will provide services to operators, either in the form of major maintenance work in co-ordination with the design offices, or via secondments to the customer. It will also be possible to conduct Part 147 on-the-job training activities for partner airline technicians.
ATR has also decided to transfer all of its ‘prototype’ activities to the new Francazal facility. It will base its two flight test aircraft – ATR 42-600 F-WWLY (c/n 811) and ATR 72-600 F-WWEY (c/n 098) – here where they will be prepared for testing and analysis of new technologies.
Speaking during the opening ceremony Patrick de Castelbajac, ATR CEO, explained: “Technicians from around the world will come to train at Toulouse/Francazal airport thanks to these Part 145 and 147 certifications. For ATR, this new facility is vital for supporting our growth. We can provide our customers with quality services, while at the same time continuously improving the operational reliability of our aircraft. We are extremely proud of this new foothold in the Toulouse region, which is yet further proof of our 35-year long partnership.”