French Securite Civile

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Sécurité Civile
English Title:
French Public Safety Service
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

The Service Nationale de Protection Civile (SNPC) was first established in 1951 primarily to aid the civil population in the event of a nuclear war. It soon possessed considerable firefighting and rescue capabilities to meet this task. With this capability it was often called into help after natural disasters and accidents. In 1957 the Groupement d’Helicopteres was created, intially flying the Agusta-Bell AB.47. The helicopter fleet soon expanded, and in 1963 the first fixed-wing water-bomber aircraft were ordered. They entered service the following year from a new base at Marignane. By 1975 the organisation had become much more orientated towards its day-to-day accident response, rescue and fire-fighting roles than its original nuclear preparedness role, and so was renamed Sécurité Civile. In 2011 a new centralised headquarters structure was created under the title Direction générale de la sécurité civile et de la gestion des crises (DGSCGC). The Sécurité Civile remains a civil defence organisation, involved in coast guard, Search and Rescue, ambulance and fire-fighting duties.

Key Dates

17 November 1951    Service Nationale de Protection Civile first established.
1957    First helicopters obtained.
1963    First water-bomber aircraft obtained.
23 July 1975    Protection Civile renamed Sécurité Civile.
7 September 2011    New oversight board for Sécurité Civile created.

Current Status

The SC aircraft are used for rescue and aerial fire fighting.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Special Markings

Securite Civile helicopters used to operate in an overall red colour scheme with a white fuselage cheatline. The titles SECURITE CIVILE were carried on the tail boom and under the nose, an Air Force-style French national roundel was displayed on the rear fuselage and the Securite Civile logo of a blue triangle on an orange disc was shown on the cabin door. Nowadays, all the EC145s operate in a red and yellow colour scheme, with SECURITE CIVILE titles under the cabin door. The national roundel remains on the rear fuselage but the SC triangle and disc logo appears on the rotor pylon.

The fixed-wing aircraft operate in a variety of colour schemes. The CL-415s uses a red and yellow scheme with SECURITE CIVILE titles on the fuselage sides. The Firecats use a white and red scheme and the Q400s a unique white scheme with a gently waving red/white/black/white/red cheatline.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

French Civil Defence aircraft and helicopters carry civil registrations in the F-ZBxx series, eg: CL-415 F-ZBFN. The limited range of letters means that registrations are re-used when aircraft are retired. The Canadairs and Firecats also carry large ‘fleet numbers’ in the range 1-99.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.


Main Headquarters

Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile et de la Gestion des Crises, 87 Quai du Docteur Dervaux, Asnieres, Ille-de-France, Paris.

Organisational Structure

The Sécurité Civile is divided into four Sous-Direction, one of which is the Sous-Direction de Moyens Nationaux (Sub-Directorate of National Means). This Sous-Direction controls the Bureau de Moyens Aeriens (Office of Air Assets, BMA). The BMA is divided into the Groupement des Helicopteres de la Securite Civile and the Groupement des Avions Bombardiers d’Eau.

Current Unit Assignments

Table of Current Unit Assignments

Historical Unit Assignments

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

List of Flying Units

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

See table of unit assignments.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information


French Aviation Bibliography – to be added


No feature articles known.


Official Sécurité Civile webpage

wikipedia: Sécurité Civile Sécurité Civile en France

Groupement Hélicoptères: Sécurité Civile

Les hélicoptères de la Sécurité Civile

Facebook: Securite Civile

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

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