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March 8, 2002

Alcoa and Aviation Equipment, Inc. Announce ''FORTRESS'' Cockpit Door

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 8, 2002--Alcoa Aerospace announced today that it has collaborated with Aviation Equipment, Inc., of Los Angeles, Calif., to develop the FORTRESS(TM), a door designed to prevent access to the cockpits of the world's current commercial air fleet. The reinforced and armored door will provide levels of protection mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in response to the September terrorist attacks while also offering global airlines fast and efficient retrofit installation.

Structural design engineers from the Engineering Design Center at Alcoa Technical Center (near Pittsburgh, PA) evaluated several concepts and selected the FORTRESS(TM) design for FAA certification testing. The FORTRESS(TM) cockpit door uses Alcoa 2519 ballistic aluminum armor in conjunction with composite armor laminates. FAA certification is in process.

The unique FORTRESS(TM) design uses standardized components and is able to accommodate most aircraft models. The tamper-proof door is furnished as a complete kit, including attachment hardware, and can be installed in four hours or less -- allowing for overnight installation. A security camera, with tamper alarm for monitoring from the cockpit, is also available. A single-point door release is reachable by both pilots from inside the cockpit. Only security coded access is available from the passenger side of the cabin.

Upper and lower blow out panels allow for air pressure equalization in both directions should rapid decompression occur. The panels automatically re-latch after pressure is balanced. Only slightly heavier than conventional, non-reinforced doors, the FORTRESS(TM) door weighs 5.5 pounds per square foot.

"We have integrated our knowledge of aerospace materials, design, engineering and manufacturing to develop a cockpit door that will meet the U.S. government's performance objectives, the cost and installation objectives of the airlines and the security concerns of passengers," said Pat Hassey, executive vice president of Alcoa, who is responsible for the company's aerospace market sector.

"We are fortunate to have more than two decades of successful structural design and engineering experience to draw upon," Hassey continued. "Working with both the automotive and aerospace industries, Alcoa has developed a design methodology based upon principles of 'design for manufacturability' and 'design for assembly' which, when coupled with our innovative aluminum products and processes, substantially improve performance, reduce weight, and minimize costs."

"Alcoa and Aviation Equipment, Inc. have a great deal of practical experience in many areas. We think the collaboration will give us a very competitive approach to this new and important product application," said Kristopher Bentson, Sr., vice president of Sales and Marketing for Aviation Equipment, Inc.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. It provides customers in packaging, consumer products, automotive, aerospace, construction and other markets with a variety of fabricated and finished products. Alcoa has 129,000 employees in 38 countries.

Aviation Equipment, Inc. specializes in the design, manufacture, overhaul and repair and modification of components for a variety of aircraft. The company also has extensive capabilities in advanced composites, aluminum metal-to-metal and boned honeycombed structures for control surfaces, cargo floor panels and other low-temperature airframe parts.

Aviation Equipment, Inc., also manufactures components for many high-temperature applications utilizing alloys such as inconel, hastealloy, titanium and stainless steel. With its extensive engineering capabilities, the company has obtained many Supplemental Type Certificates and Parts Manufacturing Approvals and is an exclusive licensee of Alcoa's advanced aerospace laminate, Glare.