Toulouse to get a new, green, aircraft factory 

AuraFactory ©Brunerie
AuraFactory ©Brunerie

French hybrid-electric aircraft startup AURA AERO has got the green light to build its own factory at Toulouse-Francazal airport, an industrial airport located near this city in the south of France. 

This new facility will be devoted to the assembly of the INTEGRAL and ERA hybrid-electric aircraft.  

The INTEGRAL is a two-seater light aircraft designed for military training and some niche uses, such as recovery training, while the ERA is a regional aircraft for 19 passengers. 

AURA AERO has received, to date, 100 and 300 orders for the INTEGRAL and ERA aircraft, respectively, which, its managers consider, make it necessary to move into a larger production facility. 

The new 40,000 square meters factory will have the capacity to build 150 aircraft per year (50 INTEGRALs and 100 ERAs) and could employ up to 1,600 workers (up from the firm’s current 130 staff). It will also concentrate on different functional areas of the company, not just the assembly line, but also the design and research center, the customer and delivery centers and offices for its administrative and commercial departments. 

The new factory represents a €150 million investment for which AURA AERO has received the backing of the local and regional authorities, of the Occitanie Région of France, in whose territory the largest part of French aerospace industry is located. 

Fittingly for a firm working on low-carbon air transportation solutions, AURA AERO has worked together with the Brunerie architectural firm to minimize the carbon footprint of its new industrial facility, placing particular care on the selection of materials and processes as well as the design of the heating and energy systems. 

The expectation is to start building ERA aircraft before the end of 2025. Certification of the type is expected by 2027 and entry into service, by 2028. 

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