Bats Thwart Airbus; Panthers and Scrub Jays, Skytruck
It's getting so you
can't improve your facilities anymore. A colony of rare bats has
threatened development of a runway at Hamburg that Airbus wants to
extend to facilitate a completion center for the A380F; and an
elusive wildcat and a small bird that is said to be a territorial
land hog have teamed up to disrupt Skytruck USA's importation
Not only does the Airbus A380 need more separation than ATC now
gives heavies, but it also likes long runways, especially in its
freight variant. So as part of its preparation and delivery center
for A380 freighters in Hamburg, Airbus negotiated for a runway
extension of some 1932 ft (589m). Well, that was the deal, but no
one asked the German NIMBY contingent, who have been forming human
chains, singing kumbaya and filing lawsuits.
The A380, the environmentalists contend, is a threat to Kinder,
Kuche and Kirche and all things truly Germanic. They would just as
soon the company took its 100-job completion center elsewhere, like
back to Toulouse where the airframes will be flying from (if the
runway gets extended). The danger for Hamburgers is that Airbus
might well decide to yank the 7,000 other Airbus and
Airbus-dependent jobs in the town, as well.
The latest development, after Airbus and the church which owned
the land Airbus wanted for the runway extension reached an
agreement, was the discovery that some fruit trees, doomed to be
covered with landfill to support the extension, are habitat for a
protected species of bat.
So one of the largest things flying in Europe is stymied,
temporarily at least, by one of the smallest. Which is a different
problem from the one an American program which hopes to bring
Naples, Florida, closer to Europe is having. The Florida expansion
of Naples-based Skytruck isn't just important to the airplane
importer; the City of Naples has planned an entire outreach program
to the hothouse European economy of Poland around it.
Skytruck's product is the eponymous M28 Skytruck, made by PZL in
Poland with some Antonov design features but Canadian Pratt &
Whitney PT6A-65B engines and five-bladed Hartzell props.
The on-again, off-again
deal with the airport authority has been held up because
environmentalists have found signs of the endangered Florida
Panther, and of a bird called a Florida Scrub Jay, a threatened
species that is said to require 25 acres per mating pair. Most of
the surviving scrub jays are in the military/NASA restricted lands
at Cape Canaveral, where the safety zone around the rocket launch
pads has protected their habitat.
The endangered Florida Panthers at issue are large cats, Puma
concolor coryi, one of North America's 14 cougar subspecies. Only
70 of them believed to survive in the wild in Southwest Florida.
The National Hockey League Florida Panthers have lost their last
dozen games, but they're not endangered in the same way -- although
they are at some risk of having their name changed to the Florida