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June 20, 2005    

US politicians target Airbus

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by Brian Turner
US politicians target Airbus

The Republican chairman of the aviation subcommittee of the US House of Representatives, John Mica, has introduced a bill which would, if passed and signed by President George W. Bush, require aircraft carrying more than 800 passengers to install the technology to combat Stinger missiles and similar weapons.

That would mean that European aircraft manufacturer Airbus would have to put such technology on its A380 if that aircraft is to fly in US airspace.

While the bill does not specifically mention the Airbus aircraft, the A380 is the only plane currently under development that could carry that many passengers.

The legislation comes at a time when the US and the European Union are engaged in a dispute concerning subsidies to both Airbus and its US rival, Boeing.

Mr. Mica insists that his legislation is not aimed at Airbus, but the European aircraft maker has dismissed the bill as aimed at giving Boeing an advantage over Airbus, and one Airbus official called the legislation “silly”.

The Air Transport Association, which represents US airlines, oppose the legislation as a congressional attempt to mandate aircraft technology.

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