France balks at US safety review of Airbus A380

10th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 9 (AFP) - A US investigation of potential air turbulence generated by the new European-made Airbus A380 superjumbo jet is not "reasonable", French transport minister Dominique Perben said Sunday.

PARIS, Oct 9 (AFP) - A US investigation of potential air turbulence generated by the new European-made Airbus A380 superjumbo jet is not "reasonable", French transport minister Dominique Perben said Sunday.

"Frankly, I think that the process is not very reasonable," the minister said on French television.

Asked whether the United States might take protectionist action as it did over the Anglo-French supersonic aircraft Concorde, Perben said "it seems so".

The US Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday it was reviewing the issue of slipstream turbulence caused by the giant jet, which is capable of carrying 800 passengers.

Perben said "technical, scientific and professional explanations" were needed for the review.

But the minister said he thought each side would "stay reasonable", referring to the heightened competition between the US and European aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that US officials may try to require increased distances around the A380 as an added safety precaution, while noting that the issue may be clouded by transatlantic trade disputes over aviation subsidies.

A turbulence working group at the US agency will make recommendations to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, although "there won't be any separate US standards that are set for the A380, other than the international standards decided by ICAO", spokeswoman Laura Brown said Wednesday.

The recommendations will be made by February, well ahead of the A380 launch in late 2006.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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