Europe's aerospace industry plans to extend civil aviation co-operation projects in Asia beyond this month, although a four-year programme supported by the European Commission and Asian governments is due to end, writes Nicholas Ionides.

The EU-Asia Civil Aviation Project, managed by the Aerospace & Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), was launched in September 2002. Its backers say that since implementation in September 2003 it has helped train 5,000 staff in the civil aviation sector in Asia.

Although the project formally comes to an end this month, project manager Sheel Shukla says European aerospace companies and industry bodies plan to put up their own resources over the next 18 months to two years to allow training programmes to continue, by which time new government support is expected.

The European Commission has contributed 50% of the €30 million ($38 million) funding for the current project and European aerospace companies and organisations around 25%. The governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam have contributed the remainder.

"At its completion in August 2006 the project will have delivered more than 300 training activities in Asia and Europe," says ASD. "The direct results of the co-operation are a higher awareness of safety standards, enhanced safety levels and a move towards regional regulatory convergence."

ASD managing director international programmes Patrick de Prevaux says the project came about in part as a result of the success of similar European projects with China and India.

Source: Flight International