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Government urged to develop aerospace industry
Central News Agency
2013-03-19 09:38 PM
Taipei, March 19 (CNA) The government should provide more detailed plans for a project aimed at upgrading the country's aerospace industry and should speed up the pace of its progress, the chairman of EVA Air said Tuesday. "A nation's power is closely related to the status of its aerospace industry," said Chang Kuo-wei, head of Taiwan's second-largest carrier. Chang earlier attacked the government for a "lack of progress" in carrying out the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project. The ambitious project to develop the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and surrounding area covers an area of 4,791 hectares and is estimated to be completed in 2030. While the project is touted as facilitating the aerospace industry, Chang blasted the authorities for failing to provide land the carrier needs for aircraft-related business. He said EVA Air is capable of handling both aircraft remodeling and maintenance, but has been forced to turn down orders because of the difficulties in acquiring land. Because the airline company has been unable to build a fourth maintenance hangar that it needs, Chang said, the carrier was forced to reject orders from All Nippon Airways to remodel its five Boeing 747s. It was also unable to take five-year contracts from Delta Air Lines and UPS, the U.S.-based international shipping company, to service their 200 aircraft, he added. Chang urged the government to quicken its procedures for land acquisition so that the company will not miss any more business opportunities. However, EVA Air is not the only carrier vying for the land, as the country's largest carrier -- China Airlines -- has also expressed interest in it. In response, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said it is in the process of reviewing urban planning and land acquisition concerning the project. Once those procedures have been cleared, the CAA said, land acquisition could start, possibly in early 2014, and be available to airline operators the following year. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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