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For Release: September 8, 1997

Catherine E. Watson
(757) 864-6122

Release No. 97-101

Sept. 10 at 2 p.m., Media Briefing at 1 p.m.


What kind of technology will the airlines of the next century require in order to thrive? The operations committee of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently undertook an effort to define those technological needs - the technology airlines will require for successful operations in the 21st century.

Karel Ledeboer, director of operations and infrastructure for the IATA, will discuss the airlines' goals and accomplishments on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m.. at the NASA Langley H.J.E. Reid Conference Center. Ledeboer also will be available for media interviews at 1 p.m. in the Reid Center.

Ledeboer will discuss eight technological areas important for future airline operations. These are materials, aircraft size, electronic equipment, maintenance, operating costs, propulsion/fuel, security and training. The overriding parameter in each of these eight areas, according to Ledeboer, is safety. According to Ledeboer, commercial aviation must reach an even higher level of safety than today. In addition, operating costs must continue to decrease and the impact on the environment must be minimized.

Ledeboer, a native of the Netherlands, earned his degree in 1962 at the Technical University in Delft. He joined the IATA in August 1994. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and has received a Knighthood in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

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