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U.S. CONSORTIUM AWARDED CONTRACT TO STUDY SIBERIAN AIRPORT

 WASHINGTON, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A consortium of three U.S. companies has been awarded a contract to study the feasibility of upgrading a small Siberian airport into a world-class aviation facility.
 The airport, called Tolmachevo, is located at Novosibirsk, a strategic point midway along the Great Circle air routes between East Asian and Western Europe.
 The U.S. consortium, which is led by Ernst & Young, also comprises The Austin Company and Dean Witter.
 In a jointly issued statement, the U.S. consortium identified the project as "the first step in what could be a major upgrading of Russia's transportation infrastructure, one that could facilitate trade and help significantly in the development of a viable free-market economy."
 Experts have estimated that as much as eight hours could be cut from current East - West air schedules by flying a trans-Siberia route.
 This, however, would require access to an international airport midway along the route, with the capability of refueling and servicing large cargo planes on transcontinental flights.
 Recognizing Tolmachevo's strategic potential, the Russian Ministry of Transport has selected the three American firms to assess the financial, physical and technical feasibility of developing Tolmachevo to meet the current standards of international aviation.
 As consortium leader, Ernst & Young will provide consulting services for finance and investment, including an investigation of the financial feasibility of the undertaking. The international accounting firm has maintained an office in Moscow since April 1989, and currently has several offices in Russia providing services to a wide range of Western clients. In addition, the firm is one of the foremost providers of consulting services for private financing and privatization of public enterprises.
 The Austin Company's primary role will be to prepare a development plan for new and improved facilities at Tolmachevo Airport. This will include evaluating and prioritizing the investment requirements and the preparation of a realistic implementation schedule.
 Austin is regarded as a world leader in the design, engineering and construction of all types of aviation facilities, including aircraft assembly plants, maintenance hangars, passenger terminals, baggage handling systems, flight kitchens and air-cargo depots.
 Planning for the development of Tolmachevo Airport will be based on a 1991 master plan prepared by Boeing Aerosystems International, a division of the Boeing Company of Seattle.
 That master plan will serve as the base reference for the feasibility study.
 The Austin Company will further develop the master plan, with particular focus on air cargo and material handling systems.
 Dean Witter will provide assistance in identifying financing sources, strategies and options. Dean Witter is a leader in underwriting airport development projects.
 The U.S. Trade and Development Program has granted $200,000 to the city of Novosibirsk to help underwrite the cost of the feasibility study.
 Ernst & Young is one of the world's leading professional service organizations. The firm employs 64,000 people in more than 600 cities in some 100 countries. The firm has over 20,000 employees in the United States, where it has offices in 100 cities.
 The Austin Company is an international organization of consultants, designers, engineers and constructors serving industrial, commercial and governmental clients. Headquartered at Cleveland, where it was founded in 1878, the company operates through 40 offices in North and South America, Europe, Australia and Japan.
 -0- 5/7/93
 /CONTACT: The Austin Company, public relations department, 216-291-6644, or 216-291-6625, or by fax, 216-291-6684; or Mort Meyerson, national director of public communications, Ernst & Young, 212-773-6116, or by fax, 212-586-3121/


CO: The Austin Company; Ernst & Young; Dean Witter ST: Ohio, New York IN: CST SU: CON

BM -- CL002 -- 5786 05/07/93 08:18 EDT
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Date:May 7, 1993
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