Operator Profile


Narrative Summary

Before WW2 the French Weather service was called the L’Office National Météorologique (ONM). It operated at least one aircraft from 1936. After the liberation from German occupation in 1945, the ONM was reorganised and renamed the Direction de la Météorologie Nationale (DMN). It immediately set about modernising the service, and this included setting up a national weather forecasting school, a dedicated weather research unit called the Etablissement d’Etudes et de Recherches Météorologiques (E.E.R.M.) and also a flying unit called the Centre d’Aviation Meteorologique (CAM).

Circa 1982 the EERM was renamed the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM). In 1993 the weather service gained its present name of Meteo-France. In 2003 the flying unit moved to Toulouse. Since 2005 Meteo-France has been collaborating with CNRS-INSU and CNES on a search project called SAFIRE.

Key Dates

1854    Le Service Météorologique de l’Observatoire de Paris first established.
14 May 1878    Renamed Le Bureau Central Météorologique de France (BCM).
25 November 1920    BCM renamed L’Office National Météorologique (ONM).
1945    ONM renamed Direction de la Météorologie Nationale (DMN)
1945    Centre d’Aviation Meteorologique created.
18 June 1993    DMN renamed Meteo-France.
2003    Main base moved to Toulouse.
10 February 2005    SAFIRE research project launched.

Current Status

The Meteo-France aircraft are used for weather research.

Future Plans

No plan known.


Special Markings

Meteo-France aircraft operate in a white and pale grey colour scheme with a thin red/white/blue fuselage cheatline. Service titles METEO-FRANCE are sometimes carried on the fuselage sides. Aircraft involved in the SAFIRE project carry the SAFIRE logo on the fin.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Meteo-France aircraft carry standard French civil aircraft registrations, e.g. ATR42 F-HMTO.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
ATR 42-300 1 1 0 Weather Research
Dassault Falcon 20 1 1 0 Weather Research
Piper PA-23 Aztec 1 1 0 Weather Research

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
ATR 42-300 1 2005 current France
Caudron Goeland 1 1945 ? France
Cessna 206 1 1968 1982 USA
Dassault Falcon 20 1 2004 current ex-civil
Piper PA-23 Aztec 1 1982 current SFA
SFAN II 1 1936 ? France
Swearingen SA-226 Merlin IV 1 1986 2003 USA

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.


Main Headquarters

Centre d’Aviation Meteorologique, Toulouse Francazal, BP 20034, 31270 Cugnaux.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft are operated by the Centre d’Aviation Meteorologique of Meteo-France.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All aircraft are based at Toulouse-Francazal Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Brétigny-sur-Orge was also used until 2003.

More Information


French Aviation Bibliography – to be added


No feature articles known.


CAM : Centre d’Aviation Météorologique
Le Centre d’Aviation Meteorologique Sera Delocalise en Septembre
Les Avions Francais de Reserche Atmospherique et de Teledetection
wikipedia: Meteo-France
Le Merlin IV

Unresolved Research Issues

It is not clear what aircraft were operated between 1945 and 1968.

Any further photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.