A400M on track for 2011 certification despite funding issues

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Airbus chief executive Tom Enders says he remains confident that Airbus Military's A400M transport will gain certification by the end of the year, despite reports in the German media that the country's parliament may delay a crucial funding decision.

Responding to questions at Airbus's annual press conference about the report in the Handelsblatt newspaper suggesting that the budget committee in Germany's Bundestag has asked for more information from the defence ministry on costings, Enders says: "Rest assured we are following the approval process in Germany very closely.

"There are six governments waiting for the green light by the German parliament for the go-ahead of this agreement. Germany is the single largest customer of the A400M and I have every reason to believe this can be sorted out in the very near future."

 © Airbus Military

Enders hopes that the Bundestag will approve the funding this week, unlocking €3.5 billion ($4.6 billion) from an additional six governments, which was agreed in November 2010, to pay for further development and production costs.

Enders says that the start of series production "is imminent" and that civil certification will take place before the end of the year.