ITALY'S STRUGGLING aerospace industry stands to receive L3,850 billion ($2.4 billion)-worth of state funding over the next five years under plans now being discussed in the Italian parliament.

The funding aims to support Italian participation on a range of international aircraft engine programmes and systems, including the Future Large Aircraft, the McDonnell Douglas MD-95 and any future 100-seat regional-aircraft project in Europe.

The proposed package comes as part of continuing efforts by the Italian Government to support its ailing aerospace/defence industry.

The rescue plan was first drafted in 1994 as Alenia came close to crisis. L750 billion was put aside to bail the industry out, but was never spent. Another L1,100 billion, was also put aside in the Government's 1995 budget, with proposals for a further package of L2,000 billion, in the 1996 budget proposals. This is still awaiting approval by the Italian Parliament, however.

The state-owned Finmeccanica group will get the bulk of the funds, with its Alenia subsidiary alone accounting for nearly one-third of the projected spend. Engine makers Alfa Avio and Fiat Avio are also to receive support.

Source: Flight International