North East Wales

Airbus at Broughton to build wind shelter for cargo plane

A Beluga opens its cargo bay door to transport a wing
Image caption The Airbus Beluga transporter cannot open its cargo doors in strong winds

A new loading bay so wings for Airbus aircraft can still be loaded onto cargo planes in strong winds have been backed by Flintshire council.

Airbus said the covered bay at Broughton would help workers loading cargo aircraft to take wings to the firm's plants in France and Germany.

The main door for the cargo deck on the A300-600ST Beluga Super Transporter cannot be opened in high winds.

Five Beluga deliver wings assembled at Broughton for the A320, A330 and A350s.

'At the mercy'

As well as delivering the wings to the final assembly lines in Toulouse and Hamburg, they also ferry components between Broughton and Airbus sites at Nantes and Saint-Nazaire in France, Bremen in Germany and Getafe in Spain.

Robert Gage, from Airbus UK, said: "We are often at the mercy of the weather in the UK, so this new building will provide a sheltered loading bay which will mean we won't always need to wait for the wind to drop before we can open the Beluga's main door.

"With a strong and growing order book, this further investment in the Broughton site will help reduce weather-related down-time for our key transport link and ensure we meet our delivery commitments."