Tuesday, 16. November 2021 | 17:30 - 18:00
Hall 8 / Stage 1
Pale d'Or Ceremony
Winning ceremony for the "Rotorcraft Person of the Year" organised by the French Helicopter Association (UFH)
La Pale d’Or is the award of the French Helicopter Association. It is attributed each three years to a person or to a group which is recognized for a great achievement in favor of vertical aviation.
It was created in 2006, to honour General Valerie André, the first female general officer in the French Air Force, formar war rescue helicopter pilot.
To date, five Pales d'Or have been awarded.
This year, it was decided to award the sixth trophy to one of the prime instigators of the Franco-German rapprochement who initiated Eurocopter, today Airbus Helicopters, and to prize it over EUROPEAN ROTORS 2021. Congratulations to Jean-François Bigay
Jean-François Bigay was born March 11, 1943 in Chamalières
He graduated as engineer at the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Aéronautique (Sup'aéro Toulouse),
He joint Nord Aviation in 1968.Nord Aviation and Sud Aviation merged in 1970, Jean-François Bigay was seconded by Aerospatiale Toulouse to the BAC (British Aircraft Corporation) at the Weybridge plant manufacturing sub-assemblies for Concorde
In mid-1971 he returned to Les Mureaux next to Paris, as production assistant for the industrialization of Ariane Rocket production.
In 1978, he was appointed manager of the OEM of "Avions Hurel-Dubois".
After 5 years and a short divert to the industy of elevators, He was appointed Director of the Marignane establishment of Aérospatial (Helicopter Division) December 19, 1986.
Jean-François Bigay became the first President of Eurocopter in 1992.
In May 1998, he wa posted Vice-president of the Société Nationale Aérospaciale for Aeronautics activities (under the presidency of Yves Michot), prior to return back to Marignane as CEO of Eurocopter in 2000.
From 2003 he created the Regional Economic Development Mission of Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur.
He became President of Marseille-Provence Airport in 2005 and worked to develop international flights for the next 6 years.
He was elected President of the prospective section of the REGIONAL ECONOMIC, SOCIAL and
ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur in 2009 for 4 years.
Since 2017 he has been President of La Fondation de France Corse-Provence-Alpes
Officer of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Knight of the Légion d'honneur and of the Ordre national du Mérite of France.
In 2003, the Association of Professional Aeronautics and Space Journalists awarded him its Icare Prize.
On March 14, 2005, he was appointed a qualified member of the board of directors of the National Air and Space Museum of Paris – Le Bourget.
In 2020, the French Helicopter Association was proud to officially announce that Jean-François Bigay has accepted to receive the award of the 6th trophy "La Pale d'Or".