Développement - Développement économique

The Pyrénées-Atlantiques, land of aeronautics

The "Little California in Europe" ... at the foot of the Pyrénées Mountains

Famous for its industrial and technological skills, particularly in aeronautics, space or chemistry and agribusiness, the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques is also well-known for its quality of life and its outstanding and diverse natural landscapes.

Bordered with Spain, at the foot of the Pyrenees, this area is a real land of contrasts. The green landscapes of the hinterland and the ocean run along the countryside and mountains. It ranks second in the French departments in terms of quality of life.

The Pyrénées-Atlantiques offer a wonderful range of discoveries, from villages of Béarn and the Basque Country, to the beautiful Pyrenees Mountains conducive to skiing and hiking, to the coastal resorts, beaches lined with sand, and the cities of Bayonne, Biarritz and Pau with its rich historical heritage.

The beautiful beaches of "Little California in Europe" have always attracted surfers from all around the world. The coastal area also concentrates the European headquarters of the biggest brands of water sports equipment such as Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Billabong, Volcom and Tribord ...

The aerospace industry, with a strong presence in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, is a major territorial specificity. Its anchoring is historical since the territory had the advantage of being far away from the eastern borders, with large open spaces and proximity to the ocean.

The Wright Brothers’ founded in Pau the first flight school in the world in 1909 which has generated much interest and passion around aviation and associated industries. Companies, internationally known today, had settled in the region back then, contributing to the consolidation of the aeronautical vocation in the Adour basin. This is what happened with Dassault-Aviation, Fouga-Potez of Turbomeca, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (SAFRAN Group), and with Daher-Socata.

In the wake of these leaders, an important cluster of subcontracting firms has gradually formed over the years, transforming the Pyrénées-Atlantiques into a major player in Aerospace Valley, in close proximity to the world-class aeronautical basins of Bordeaux and Toulouse. "Nature & Technology" occupies a quite natural place in this vocation for aeronautics and space and has developed two sub-projects associated with this approach: "Nature & Aeronautic Exploitation" and "Nature & Space Applications."


Christophe Voisin

Tél. : (+33)05 59 11 44 47


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