British Airways has pledged that its “safety first” policy will remain strictly enforced and that its Concorde operations will continue after the discovery of a microscope crack on a non-critical part of the supersonic aircraft.
One aircraft in the airline`s seven-strong Concorde fleet has been taken out of service temporarily, as a precaution, because the tiny crack - in a non-safety-critical area of the rearmost wing spar - has grown fractionally.
The aircraft`s Anglo-French manufacturers have said that the airline`s other six Concordes are perfectly safe to fly. This view has been endorsed by the British and French civil aviation authorities.
British Airways is constantly monitoring its entire Concorde fleet using ultrasonic scans.
The crack has grown in the one grounded aircraft only.
Captain Mike Bannister, Flight Manager Concorde, says he has absolute confidence flying Concorde.
British Airways said today: “We have taken the prudent step of keeping that aircraft on the ground, awaiting a repair kit from manufacturer Aerospatiale.
“We have spare Concorde aircraft to keep the operation going efficiently and safely.
“Safety is our absolute priority. Concorde has a perfect safety record.
“We have absolute confidence in the sophisticated monitoring techniques and the Engineering standards which ensure the safety of our Concorde operation.
“We are liaising with the Civil Aviation Authority and French regulatory authorities.”