EU to give green light to Airbus A380 wing repairs

The European Aviation Safety Agency said on Monday it would give formal approval to repairs designed to eliminate potential wing cracks on the Airbus A380.

A draft directive means aircraft being retrofitted with newly designed wing components will no longer be subject to a special regime of checks, completing a vital step towards ending a 16-month trauma surrounding the world's largest jetliner.

From the first quarter of 2014, Airbus will deliver A380s incorporating modified wing designs, removing the need for retrofitting planes in service or on the production line.

The discovery of cracks on some rib feet, or brackets, inside the wings disrupted schedules as parts were checked and replaced and caused substantial extra costs for Airbus parent EADS , but did not lead to the fleet being grounded.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher)