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Kathy Barnstorff
(757) 864-9886

RELEASE NO. 98-076

Aging Aircraft: Challenges Facing The Military And Industry

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will kick off the Second Joint NASA/FAA/Department of Defense Conference on Aging Aircraft in Williamsburg, Va. at 1 p.m., Monday, August 31.

More than 600 world leaders in aviation safety research, aircraft design and manufacturing, fleet operation and aviation maintenance are expected to share the latest information and technologies to assure the continued airworthiness of aging aircraft in military and commercial fleets.

Monday's opening session will feature not only FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, but also Rear Admiral Craig Steidle, Vice Commander of the Naval Air Systems Command, and NASA Acting Deputy Administrator Gen. John Dailey.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the average age of the entire fleet of commercial transport airplanes is about 15 years old. Some aircraft still in service are more than 30 years old.

Last year in a report following the crash of TWA Flight 800, the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security raised concerns about non-structural parts of aging commercial jets. "The Commission is concerned that existing procedures, directive, quality assurance and inspections may not be sufficient to prevent safety-related problems caused by the corrosive and deteriorating effects of non-structural components of commercial aircraft as they age," the report said.

The Aging Aircraft Conference is scheduled from Aug. 31 through Sept. 3. Technical sessions on approaches to fleet management, structural analysis methods and technologies for inspection, maintenance and repair will dominate the conference after the first day.


The Second Joint NASA/FAA/DoD Conference on Aging Aircraft will be held at the Williamsburg Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 50 Kingsmill Road, Williamsburg.

The speakers' tight schedules on Monday may not allow time for one on one interviews.


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