Turkey ready to produce homemade planes: minister

08:16, May 19, 2010      

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Turkey is ready to manufacture its own planes, Turkish transport minister said in Istanbul on Tuesday.

"It is time to realize the dream of manufacturing our own planes now," said Binali Yildirim at the Turkish regional passenger plan workshop at Istanbul Technical University.

Local Dogan news agency quoted him as saying that the excitement, experience and political will were all there, "we have universities, industry is capable, we have the research and development capacity. It is time to act."

He said a decision had been made to produce planes and the ministry would use all resources and energy available to make this a reality without discriminating between private and public industries.

Yildirim said the aviation sector would continue to grow 5 to 6 percent every year until 2050 and in the next 20 years the existing fleet would double, meaning 30,000 new planes would enter the sector.

According to Yildirim, as part of the 2023 plan in the country, Turkey intended to have an airport capable of international transit with a capacity of over 60 million people, and at least three airports, each with a capacity of 30 million people.

Emphasizing the importance of research and development, Yildirim said the government had invested 700 million lira (about 466 million U.S. dollars) in research and development projects in the past seven years.



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