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Pacific Aerospace Gears Up For A Busy Year

News Release January 16, 2004

Pacific Aerospace Gears Up For A Busy Year

A second order placed by US operator Utility Aircraft Corporation for a new PAC 750XL has reinforced Pacific Aerospace Corporation's unswerving belief in the latest aircraft to roll off its production line.

UAC, of Woodland, California, lost its first PAC 750XL in tragic circumstances last month when the aircraft landed in the sea off the US coast after running out of fuel on its delivery flight from New Zealand. Tauranga pilot Kelvin Stark died in that incident.

PAC's managing director Brian Hare says the feedback he has received shows customers, prospective customers and aviation commentators do not link this incident with the quality or safety of the aircraft.

"UAC's prompt order for a second PAC 750XL indicates they have total faith in the new plane," he says.

"We have already sold 18 and options remain firmly in place for a further 260 worldwide. This supports our contention this plane is the best multi-purpose aircraft available today."

Hare adds awareness of PAC's aircraft in the international aviation market has never been higher.

"Overall, the company is in good heart and the market development programme for the PAC 750XL is proceeding to plan. We have a full production programme in place for the next twelve months."

PAC's general manager, John McWilliam, confirms the company continues to receive strong enquiries for all of its aircraft models including the PAC 750XL.

"We are gearing up for the busiest year in our 45-year history with increased orders for all the other aircraft in our fleet as well as major expansion planned for our manufacturing plant and staff here at Hamilton," he says.

"We have received an order from the Royal Thai Air force for a further eight CT4 E Airtrainers and plan to deliver the first of these in April. The Royal Thai Air Force is already using more than 50 of our Airtrainers which makes it one of our bigger customers."

McWilliam says just this week PAC started 11 new full-time personnel at its Hamilton headquarters. They are primarily employed in aircraft assembly with further appointments pending.

Footnote: Pacific Aerospace Corporation operates from a 260,000sq ft manufacturing facility with two production lines at Hamilton International Airport. Its track record includes manufacturing components for Boeing 747 and 777, Airbus 330 and 340, FA18 Hornets, Aermacchi MB326, P3B Orion and MD11, and the U.S. military. It has carried out avionic updates on the RNZAF's Skyhawks, and completed maintenance work on the Strikemaster jets and Iroquois helicopters.

The company was also involved in the ANZAC frigate project with Australia and New Zealand, producing combat system containers for the modularised frigates and has manufactured rudders for specialised tank landing craft for the US Marines. A finalist in the Trade New Zealand Supreme Export Award, PAC is also the recipient of an award from the NZ Aviation Industry Association for 'leadership in aviation design and manufacture for the world market'.


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