The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified an interim fix for a power gearbox issue with Airbus A400M transport aircraft engines.
"It's good news. It means that we're going to be alleviating the pain of the nations sooner," Fernando Alonso, president of Airbus Military Aircraft was quoted as saying by Reuters Saturday. "It means they will essentially be able to use the aircraft normally again."
Alonso said the EASA would now require initial inspections of the planes after 650 flight hours, up from 100 hours, with follow-up inspections to be required every 150 hours, up from the 20-hour cycle imposed after the gearbox issue first emerged in late December.
The EASA certification clears the way for Italy’s Avio, a unit of General Electric Co, to begin retrofitting engines on existing planes with a modified part to replace the one with cracking. It can also begin producing new power gearbox kits with the part integrated.
Airbus said the certification of the interim fix came a month or more sooner than planned. The company is continuing to work with GE and Avio on a long-term solution for the gearbox.