Dassault will, on 16 October, break ground on a heavy maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Bordeaux, Mérignac, southwest France, to serve its expanding fleet of Falcon high-end business jets. The 7,200m2 (77,500ft2) building will be located next to the airframer’s Falcon final assembly hangar, and will be able to accommodate up to six business jets at a time. “The Mérignac centre will allow Dassault Falcon Service to keep up with the steady growth in the Falcon fleet, which already numbers more than 2,000 aircraft worldwide,” says Dassault.
This will be the fourth company-owned service centre to offer heavy maintenance. The other facilities are located in Le Bourget, France; Little Rock, Arkansas – also home to a Falcon completion centre – and Wilmington, Delaware. The new facility at Mérignac is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2016, ahead of initial deliveries of the 8X ultra-long-range tri-jet, and the planned ramp-up of scheduled heavy maintenance work – known as C-checks – on early 7X models. “Some 250 7Xs are now in operation,” Dassault says. “The fleet leaders are now approaching their first heavy maintenance deadlines, which are required every eight years.”
A host of other MRO services will be offered at Mérignac for Falcon owners, including cabin refurbishment and modifications, avionics upgrades and structural repair work.