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GIFAS (French Aerospace Industries Association)

On 11 January 1908, a group of aviation pioneers, including Robert Esnault-Pelterie, Louis Blériot, Louis Breguet 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 Today, Gifas has more than 332 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 and operation. 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, UAV, large aerospace, defence and security systems, equipment, subassemblies and associated software applications.
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