Gdansk, 17 December 2003 - Today celebrations took place in Gdansk between Airbus and Remontowa S.A in the presence of key Polish officials to mark the upcoming delivery of the Floating Transfer Station (FTS) to Pauillac-Bordeaux, France. Remontowa was contracted by SOCATRA on behalf of Airbus in April 2003 to provide the station.
The Polish ship yard in Gdansk built the euro eight million transfer station within a few months as part of a larger transport project, which includes the construction of a ro-ro ship and river barges. These vehicles will make it possible for the sea and river transportation of A380 sections..
The A380 is the world's first true long-range double-decker aircraft, which will enter airline service in 2006. Designed in close collaboration with major airlines, airports and airworthiness authorities, the A380 is the most advanced, spacious and efficient aircraft ever conceived.
The technical documentation for the FTS has been prepared by the shipyard's design office. It has been designed as a pontoon of steel construction, all welded, non-propelled, intended for the unloading of aircraft components from the sea vessels and the loading of components on to the river barges. The FTS will be located at the Pauillac Harbour near Bordeaux in the Gironde estuary. Ro-ro vessels will lower their ramps at the upstream end of the FTS and unload the aircraft components fitted on pallets.
The components will be stowed for a short period on the deck of the FTS and then re-located at the downstream end of the FTS before being moved onto the purpose built ro-ro sea vessel or river barge. The empty pallets and jigs returned by the barges will also be stowed temporarily on the FTS before loading onto the ro-ro vessel. The FTS and barges will be operated by SOCATRA, a French shipping company and partner of Airbus for all Garonne river transport operations.
The FTS is 150m long, 35m wide, 7.5m high and has a total weight of 3,500 tons. It has its own ballast system and hydraulically operated side ramp. Its hull is subdivided by five transversal and two longitudinal watertight bulkheads, resulting in 18 compartments. The FTS is anchored by fendered collars around two pairs of pillars of 2,400 mm diameter each.
The completion and delivery of the vehicle to France will take place from end December 2003 to January 2004 at which point the FTS will play a key role in the transport process for the construction of this A380 aircraft.
"Remontowa S.A. is contributing significantly to the A380 programme through its involvement in the design and manufacture of such an important structural part of the aircraft's transport process. We at Airbus are extremely satisfied with this collaboration, which clearly shows that this well established Polish company meets the extremely stringent requirements of our industry both in terms of know how and quality in this international competitive environment. This will no doubt benefit the Polish economy both in terms of revenues and employment," stated Jesus Morales, Vice President A380 Transportation at Airbus.
"Remontowa is proud to be associated with the A380 programme as part of the supplier chain where criteria of selection is based on excellency and competitiveness. We are also honoured to be an additional symbol of the construction of Europe in which Poland is now taking part. This has been enabled through our co-operation with Airbus," said Mr. Piotr Soyka, Chairman of "Remontowa" S.A.
Launched in 2000, the 555-seat A380, Airbus' newest and largest aircraft, is already an immense success on the market. To date, eleven customers have announced firm orders for a total of 129 aircraft, including 17 freighters. Its maiden flight is due to take place in 2005. Offering unequalled passenger comfort, unrivalled operating costs and state-of-the-art technology to minimize noise and emissions, the A380 is an evolution of aviation technology that promises to ease congestion at major airports by transporting more people more efficiently than ever.
Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of aircraft on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. The company has delivered 3,400 aircraft to more than 180 customers worldwide since it first entered the market in the early seventies. It also boasts a healthy order book of some 1,500 aircraft for delivery over the coming years.
With an annual turnover of 19.4 billion Euros in 2002, Airbus is a global company, employing some 48,500 people of many different nationalities in design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK and Spain, as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Poland has been involved in the Airbus success story for six years. PZL Swidnik has been supplying passenger door opening mechanisms for Airbus single-aisle A320 Family since May 1997 and passenger and rear bulk cargo doors for the A320/A321s and the wide-body ultra-long range A340s since mid-1999. In addition, the Polish industrialist produces aircraft composite fire protection for cargo doors as well as detail parts for the belly fairings for the A320 Family.
Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.