GIFAS - The French Aerospace Industries Association
GIFAS, the French aerospace industries association, has more than 280 members, from major prime contractors and system suppliers to small specialist companies.
They cover the full spectrum of skills from the design, development and production of aerospace systems and equipment to maintenance and operation.
Activities extend from civil and military aircraft and helicopters to engines, missiles and armament, satellites and launch vehicles, plus aerospace, defence and security major systems, equipment, subassemblies and associated software.
A century of industrial development
On 11 January 1908, a group of aviation pioneers, including Robert Esnault-Pelterie, Louis Blériot, Louis Bréguet and Gabriel Voisin, felt the need to free themselves from the control of the automobile industry to confirm the vocation of heavier-than-air flight. They held a meeting at the Automobile-Club de France to discuss the possibility of setting up an association that aimed to bring “an industrial and commercial dimension to what had until then been considered merely a sport”. The creation of the Chambre Syndicale des Industries Aéronautiques (CSIAé) was approved unanimously. Two days later, at Issy-les-Moulineaux, Henry Farman made the first flight over a kilometre in a closed loop.
At the same time, a number of aircraft manufacturers set up the Association des Industries de la Locomotion Aérienne organizing the first international aeronautical exhibition, which opened to widespread public acclaim at the Paris Grand Palais in the autumn of 1909.
At this stage, merging the two groups was a logical step. The merger took place in July 1910, with Robert Esnault-Pelterie and André Granet appointed chairman and secretary general respectively of the CSIAé, later to become Gifas.
In 1975, the association acquired the name Gifas, which stands for Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales
Gifas, which stands for Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales, has over 280 members, from major prime contractors and system suppliers to small specialist companies. They cover the full spectrum of skills from the design, development and production of aerospace systems to marketing and maintenance.
Gifas members are active in all sectors of the aerospace industry including civil and military aircraft, helicopters, engines, missiles and weapons, satellites and launch systems, large aerospace, defence and security systems, equipment, subassemblies and associated software applications.
GIFAS has three main objectives:
To represent and co-ordinate
The Board of Administrators, consisting of senior executives of member companies, determines the lines of action to be taken, based on the problems shared by the companies. Actions are taken by the relevant departments in GIFAS on the basis of deliberations by specialised commissions after approval by the Board.
An Equipment Group (GEAD) exists within GIFAS as does an Aero-SME Committee to deal with issues specific to major Equipment companies and SMEs respectively.
Covering the complete range of aerospace activities, GIFAS is the voice of this industry in France and worldwide:
- representing the industry on French, European and international bodies, both public and private
- coordinating industrial and business activities
- harmonizing technical procedures.
To analyse and defend trade interests promote and train
The analysis and defence of the industry’s interests is a key GIFAS mission. GIFAS critically examines any economic, social, financial, environmental and technical regulations likely to affect its members’ general interests, whether proposed at French, European or international level. This work covers the General states of the industry, the Europe of Defence, R&D, transatlantic relations, SME support, international intelligence, public markets, environment and sustainable development, security, certifications and standards, tax, risk prevention and insurances.
At a time when the proportion of civil to military business is changing, more countries are setting up their own aerospace industries, and international cooperation can only increase, GIFAS has a crucial role to play.
To promote and train
To promote the French aerospace industry and its products, Gifas:
- participates in trade shows and events;
- organizes exhibitions, trade and fact-finding missions;
- organizes the Paris Air Show held at Le Bourget every two years;
- distributes information to trade and general media plus public and government authorities in France and worldwide.
In liaison with universities, engineering schools and similar institutions, Gifas contributes to French training programmes open to trainees from selected countries. This work is undertaken in cooperation with the Institut Aéronautique et Spatial (IAS).
Gifas is a member of:
- ASD, Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe;
- MEDEF, the French employers’ association;
- CIDEF, the French defence industries council;
- GFI, the industrial federations organization.