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Appeals Court Clears Airbus Factory Extension (Feb. 21)



HAMBURG---"The ruling of the appellate administrative court (OVG) has secured vital planning permission for this century's milestone industrial project." Hans-Joachim Gante, chairman of the EADS Airbus GmbH executive management board, stressed this point today after the OVG announced its decision.

Gante commented: " We will of course have to carefully examine the court ruling. However, on the whole, we welcome the decision of the OVG's as it gives us the go-ahead for extension of the site."

The German Airbus boss once again pointed to the exceptional importance of the A380 programme for industry:" EADS will not only be the only beneficiary of production of the A380. Construction of this megaliner will provide Hamburg, its outlying region and the German aerospace industry with enormous opportunities for economic growt, coupled with new technological challenges. The new aircraft programme extends over a period of at least 30 years and also presents suppliers and service companies with favourable long-term prospects."

According to Gante, construction of the A380 will create new jobs and secure existing jobs in the long-term. He confirmed that "We now have a solid foundation upon which to pursue our plans to expand staff numbers, and we are certain that we will be able to create around 2,000 jobs in Hamburg."

Furthermore Gante believes, that production o the A380 will give new impetus R&D in terms of technological developments. The German Airbus boss emphasised: " I am firmly convinced that the A380 will represent an additional boost to the innovative capabilities of the aerospace industry within Germany."

EADS Airbus has planned to invest a sum in the region of one billion German marks in the construction of A380 halls, buildings as well as in the necessary infrastructure. Due to the right international schedule, it is essential that work now commence to to fill in part of the "Mühlenberger Loch" site. Environmental enchroachments will be counteracted through planned compensatory areas that are nearly twice as large as the landfill. Gante commented:"It is crucial for us as an aircraft manufacturer that we are able to begin construction of the first A380 hall by 1 November this year." This is essential if the first A380 is to be delivered on schedule.

With regard to production of the A380, the following milestones are planned: Assembly is to begin in 2003, the maiden flight of the first prototype in 2004 and the first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2006.

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German Airbus Chief : Court Ruling Secures Necessary Planning Permission