The Midlands is set for some good industrial news for once - the Government is today expected to announce plans to proceed with a £13 billion plane refuelling programme.
The Ministry of Defence tentatively selected the Air-Tanker consortium led by Airbus parent firm EADS to take on the UK's largest ever military outsourcing deal more than a year ago.
The consortium has since been in talks with the ministry over details, including how the project would be funded.
It could be another year before a final deal is signed but Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon is nevertheless set to confirm outsourcing as the best way to proceed and to formalise AirTanker's status as preferred bidder.
Air Tanker includes France's Thales and British firms Rolls-Royce, Cobham and VT Group.
It will be a big boost for the Midlands operations of Rolls-Royce and a host of small firms across the region will be hoping to pick up work.
"We anticipate a decision shortly," a spokesman for AirTanker said.
Plans call for the consortium to own and maintain a fleet of Airbus A330-200 planes fitted as tankers and make them available to the Royal Air Force for 27 years.
Tankers are a relatively new area for EADS and mark a widened showdown with US arch rival Boeing which has dominated the tanker market for decades.
Airbus and Boeing have long competed in civil airliners, with Airbus topping Boeing in deliveries for the last two years.
In tankers, EADS has orders for six Airbus A310 planes from Germany and Canada and five for the larger A330-200 from Australia, which will begin taking deliveries in 2008. The UK deal is larger, expected to be up to 20 A330s, and a stepping stone to the largest tanker market, the US.
Conversions of airliners to tankers involves installing fuelling pods on the wings and other equipment to allow other aircraft to be refuelled in mid-flight.
Most of the US tanker fleet of more than 500 planes is about 40 years old, offering a lucrative replacement market. EADS wants to bolster its defence business and a bigger slice of the US market is vital to do so.
Washington scrapped a tentative deal with Boeing for 100 planes last year and is expected to re-open the tender this year to both planemakers. n n n One in seven bosses do not have a problem with employees lying on their CVs.
The research conducted by The Aziz Corporation showed 14 per cent of company directors and senior managers are comfortable with staff telling untruths in their job applications.
And while only seven per cent of managers feel it is acceptable for an employee to tell an occasional lie to them, 37 per cent believe it is OK for staff to tell "white lies" to customers.
This figure rises to 46 per cent for those who believe lying is acceptable if it could safeguard the company.
Not good. One day you get found out - the sort of culture which leads to the likes of the Arthur Andersen collapse.