The Paris region has historically been rightly considered the cradle of French aviation for over a century. It is home to the major players of the Aeronautics, Defence and Space Industry: head offices, R&D centres and production sites of European significance, air transport, and airport services and infrastructures. With a concentration of one third of the industry's jobs in France, Paris Region offers businesses a location of global excellence to boost their development in Europe.
In the Paris Region, there are over 200,000 jobs directly relating to the Aeronautics-Space-Defence industry and to air transport. Dassault Aviation, EADS, Arianespace, the SAFRAN Group (SNECMA, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, Hispano Suiza, Aircelle, Sagem Défense et Sécurité, Turbomeca, etc.), the Thales Group, the European Space Agency, Aéroports de Paris, Air France-KLM and others have chosen to establish their head office, their research centre or part of their production there. The region has 75 employers, 14 of which exceed 500 employees and hold 81% of the region's workforce. Among those, 6 employ over 1,000 people.
Research and training
Today the Paris Region boasts over 120,000 jobs in the aeronautics and space industry, 28,000 of which are related to research and innovation. Initiatives conducted by the ASTech Paris Region cluster aimat consolidating those figures, and ultimately at making them grow.
The Aeronautics-Space-Defence sector represents one of the main clusters of excellence in terms of Research & Development. It requires substantial technical competence, calling on a highly qualified workforce. Beyond the presence of numerous production sites, the kinds of activities found in the Paris Region include for a large part head office, R&D and testing duties. The sector employs a great many executives and technicians (respectively 37% and 34% of employees in the sector) as compared to the industry as a whole (32.5% and 26.5%). With 28,000 researchers, the Paris Region is the foremost region in France in terms of the workforce and means devoted to R&D. Side by side with private research centres, public bodies like the ONERA (Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches aérospatiales/National Office for Aerospace Studies and Research), the CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales/National Centre for Space Studies), the Propulsion Testing Centre (Centre d'Essais des Propulseurs) and the Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique) are very high-level research and technological resource centres which are difficult to find elsewhere.
Confronted with the present world's energy and environmental challenges, the Aeronautics-Space-Defence and Sustainable Development sectors are now bound together. Reducing aircraft fuel consumption is a crucial objective for the environment and most aeronautics players are making significant contributions to that effort by taking an active part in a great number of research
programmes, among which the most structuring are the Clean Sky project for Europe and CORAC for France. The ASTech Paris Region competiveness cluster, with its €150m research budget, has implemented several collaborative R&D programmes involved in aircraft energy performance.
For instance, the SNECMA-supported TOSCA project is developing a new injection system expected to halve polluting emissions, while the COMPTINN project aims at reducing the weight of structures by using composite materials that can resist temperatures ranging from 150 to 400° C. CORAC (Conseil pour la Recherche Aéronautique Civile/Council for Civilian Aeronautical Research) was founded in July 2008, following the Grenelle de l'Environnement round table. It gathers all of the players in the French air transport sector, meaning the aeronautics industry, airlines, airports, the ONERA, as well as the institutions and ministries involved. In terms of sustainable development, its objectives are highly ambitious, since the idea is to achieve a twofold reduction in perceived noise, halve carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 80%, all this by 2020. CLEAN SKY is the most important aeronautics research programme ever launched in Europe. Its objective is to favour research to promote better environmental performance in air transport: less noise, reduced fuel consumption, less CO2 and NOx emissions, etc., while Clean Sky is pursuing another concurrent, major objective: to reduce the development time of those technological advances so as to speed up their implementation. The Clean Sky JTI (Joint Technology Initiative) was founded in 2008 and represents a totally unique public/private partnership established between the European Commission on the one hand, and aeronautics sector companies from 24 European countries on the other.
- More than 200 000 direct and indirect jobs (including air transport)
- 3000 establishments
- 27% of national R&D spending in the industry
- 30% of the industry's national workforce
- 28% of national researchers
- 3rd-largest exporting industry sector in Paris Region (€5,2 billion in 2010)
In the spotlight