5 September, 2001. British Airways welcomed the joint decision today by the Civil Aviation Authority and its French equivalent, the DGAC, to return Concorde`s Certificate of Airworthiness.
It marks the end of an intensive programme of work by the manufacturers, regulatory authorities, British Airways and Air France to ensure that Concorde returns safely back into service.
Mike Street, Director of Customer Service and Operations, said: “It is a tremendous tribute to everyone who has worked extremely hard on both sides of the Channel since last year.
“British Airways has always said that we would only resume Concorde services once we were convinced we could do so safely. The package of safety measures developed by the manufacturers and agreed today by the regulators enables us to achieve this.
“Our Concorde customers are keen to get back on board and we are very much looking forward to carrying them again soon.”
The main package of measures includes:
* Installation of Kevlar-rubber fuel tank liners designed to minimise any fuel leaks should the wing skin be punctured.
* Use of newly developed Michelin Near Zero growth tyres.
* Strengthening of the wiring in the undercarriage area.
Alpha Foxtrot, the first of British Airways’ seven aircraft to have completed the modification programme, will have its Certificate of Airworthiness returned today. The next two aircraft, Alpha Echo and Alpha Golf, are in the process of being modified.
While no firm date has been set yet for the resumption of Concorde services, British Airways hopes to start flying passengers supersonically again soon, with an initial daily return service between London and New York.
Mike Bannister, British Airways’ Chief Concorde pilot, said: “We are delighted by today’s announcement. After months of hard work by the manufacturers and our engineering teams, it is exciting to be one step closer to getting Concorde back into the air.”