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American Airlines Selects Airbus' Runway Overrun Prevention System For Its A320 Family Fleet

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines has decided to equip all of its A320 Family fleet with Airbus' innovative Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) technology. This onboard cockpit technology, which Airbus has pioneered independently over several years, increases pilots' situational awareness during landing, reduces exposure to runway excursion risk, and if necessary, provides active protection.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130208/DA56847LOGO)

ROPS was first approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on the A380 in October 2009 and to date is currently in service or ordered on around 70 percent of the A380 fleet. ROPS is part of the A350 XWB's basic configuration and is also being applied on the other Airbus types being produced today, starting with the A320 Family, with certification on this type expected later this year.

"We are proud to be the first airline to equip our entire A320 family aircraft with this state-of-the-art technology," said Capt. John Hale, Vice President – Flight for American Airlines. "Our pilots appreciate the operational benefits that this industry-approved cockpit technology will bring to their daily work."

"ROPS is the result of years of continuing research by Airbus," said Yannick Malinge, Airbus' Senior Vice President and Chief Product Safety Officer. "Its selection by American Airlines for its A320 Family fleet underscores the value and significant contribution that ROPS brings to aviation safety. Airbus is proud to be on the leading edge of this technology for our industry – where safety is the universal priority."

Runway excursion – meaning either an aircraft veering off the side of the runway, or overrunning at the very end – has become the primary cause of civil airliner hull losses in recent years, particularly as other formerly prevalent categories of aircraft accidents have now largely been eliminated. Furthermore, various industry bodies including the EASA, NTSB, Eurocontrol and FAA recognize this and are fully behind the introduction of effective measures by commercial aviation stakeholders to not only mitigate, but eliminate the risk of runway excursions.

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