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Turboprop manufacturer ATR has opened its new aviation maintenance site at Toulouse-Francazal airfield, after receiving necessary approvals from French civil aviation safety regulator OSAC.

ATR decided to invest in Toulouse-Francazal, a military airfield and flight-test center until 2010, in order to secure long-term maintenance, high-quality facilities close to its final assembly line at the southwestern French city’s current main civil airport, Toulouse-Blagnac.

Toulouse-Francazal, around seven miles (12 km) from the city center, amalgamates ATR’s Part 145 maintenance activities for all of its customers, incorporating maintenance, servicing and repairs plus related training activities. It will also be able to handle Part 147 on-the-job training activities for airline technicians.

ATR teams based at the site will provide services to operators, either in the form of major maintenance work in coordination with the aircraft manufacturer’s design offices, or via secondments to the customer.

The Franco-Italian manufacturer will, in future, also conduct its test activities at Francazal, with its two prototypes—the ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600—being prepared for the testing and analysis of new technologies at the site.

“Technicians from around the world will come to train at Toulouse-Francazal airport, thanks to these Part 145 and 147 certifications,” ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac said as he opened the new facility July 4.

“For ATR, this new facility was 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.”

The hangar that ATR will use for maintenance purposes can accommodate two aircraft. It was originally constructed in 1934 and required a total overhaul to adapt it for its new purpose, while preserving its original architecture as much as possible.

The company has also begun construction of a 1,200 sq m building able to accommodate up to 80 people on the site.

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