Summary: The Americans have declared war on the EU's decision to gradually phase out noisy aircraft from Community airports, including those fitted with special engine mufflers of "hush-kits". A delegation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), visiting Brussels on December 10, indicated to the press that the US is determined to delay the implementation of any such measures and will if necessary appeal to the WTO (World Trade Organisation). At issue is the proposal for a Regulation aiming to prevent all new entries of such aircraft onto Community registers from January 1, 1999, and to ban their use after 2002.

The American authorities have denounced the proposed restrictions, insisting they would penalise the US economy and totally disregard on-going efforts to reduce aircraft noise and comply with recommendations issued by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation). The Americans argue that the installation of hush-kits has enabled a change in the classification of the aircraft concerned in accordance with ICAO recommendations. The Organisation has decreed that by 2002 at the latest, all aircraft should comply with the...

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