The Istres-Etang de Berre local public company (SPL) is the prime contractor for investing in the Istres-Jean Serrail aeronautical hub. As such it is fully committed to the emergence of a new Airship industrial facility in addition to the AIRSHIP VILLAGE, the operational arm of the programme.

Registered with the Salon-de-Provence Company Register, the shareholders are the Aix-Marseille Provence Metropolitan authorities which are the main shareholders and the town authorities of Istres. Accordingly, these authorities are heavily involved in developing their area and showcasing the aeronautics industry and more specifically the airship business that is expected to produce a lot of jobs.

This project was supported by the County authorities when the land was being purchased and the Regional Authorities are supporting investment in the form of research and development.

The company’s mission statement includes operating the property and real estate resources on the 33 hectare hub.

The Local Public Company is opening its capital base to private investors in 2018.


The members of the board:

François BERNARDINI, Mayor of Istres, Vice-President of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metroploitan Authorities and President of the Istres West Provence Council. Chief Executive Officer of SPL.

Gérard GAZAY, Vice-President of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolitan Authorities, Mayor of Aubagne.

Frédéric VIGOUROUX, Councilor of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolitan Authorities, Mayor of Miramas.

Gilbert FERRARI, Councilor of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolitan Authorities, alderman of Istres.

Gilles PRIAUD, alderman of Istres.

Jean Sarrail

Jean Sarrail was a test pilot and a figher pilot during WW2. During his career he tested more than 75 prototypes including the Mirage III and the most famous of all, the Leduc that his name came to be associated with. He ended his career as Director of the Flight Test Centre. He departed this world in Istres on 7 July 2012, at the ripe old age of 93.