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Pipistrel to Build Factory in Italy

Ajdovscina, 05 November (STA) - Pipistrel, a maker of light aircraft, will manufacture aircraft in Italy, near the border with Slovenia. The company got a 30-year licence to build a factory next to the Gorizia airport and expects to get a building permit in six months, Pipistrel boss and owner Ivo Boscarol told the STA on Friday.

The Ajdovscina-based company has been forced to start making aircraft outside Slovenia because in the absence of a special bilateral agreement between Slovenia and the US, it cannot sell its aircraft to America.

"As director I cannot behave irresponsibly. I have to find a solution for the US market, where we could sell a third of our production," Boscarol recently told the STA.

Successive Slovenian governments have tried to pen the accord with the US, but Boscarol says agreement appears remote.

The company will assemble aircraft with four seats or more in Italy, while production and development will remain in Slovenia.

Pipistrel is considered one of the most innovative makers of light aircraft in the world.

Its Virus SW won the NASA centennial PAV challenge in 2007 and the NASA GAT centennial challenge in 2008.

The company had sales of EUR 7.5m last year, making a net profit of nearly EUR 1m.

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