Although Airbus does not put a dollar figure on cost of inspecting and fixing the A380 fleet because of a wing component flaw, company CEO Tom Enders concedes it will be “quite some money.”
Airbus is taking full blame for the situation. The problem “we created ourselves and are fixing ourselves,” Enders says during the Singapore air show.
It is not just about the here and now, though. Enders says the situation has sparked an in-depth review to assess why the company's design and engineering system did not catch the potential for the manufacturing flat early. “Are we learning from this for other programs? Absolutely,” Enders stresses.
At issue is an A380 fleet-wide inspection, mandated by the European Aviation Safety Agency, to inspect and potentially fix L-shaped wing rib-feet which have experienced cracks. The airworthiness directive calls for aircraft with fewer than 1,216 flight cycles to undergo the inspection when they reach 1,300 flight cycles or before; for those between 1,216 and 1,384 flight cycles the inspection has to be completed within six weeks or 84 flight cycles or six weeks, and those with 1,384 flight cycles or more within three weeks.