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FAA opens Shanghai office, boosting cooperation on Chinese-made jet ARJ21

FAA opens Shanghai office, boosting cooperation on Chinese-made jet ARJ21

In a move expected to boost U.S. aviation industry sales to China's fast-growing market, the Federal Aviation Administration opened an office in Shanghai on Friday that will aid Chinese manufacturers' efforts to get certification for their aircraft.
The new office initially will mainly support efforts by China's General Administration of Civil Aviation to meet safety standards and gain approval for its domestic jet, the ARJ-21, said John Hickey, director of the FAA's Aircraft Certification Service.
Civil aviation authorities around the world usually follow the FAA's lead on safety issues, and certification is a crucial step for any new airliner.
Working more closely will facilitate ties with many of the U.S. companies that are working with China on the ARJ-21, Hickey said.
"This is certainly facilitating the exchange of aeronautical products between the United States and China," he said.
The ARJ-21 is part of China's efforts to design and build its own large aircraft, although foreign manufacturers are to supply 40 percent of its components. Current plans call for the engines for the mid-sized jet to come from General Electric Co.
Rockwell Collins Inc. is expected to supply the cockpit, Parker Hannifin Corp. the fuel system and Honeywell International Inc. the avionics.
The ARJ-21, China's first homegrown jet airliner with a capacity for 70-100 passengers, is due to begin production by the end of the year, with the first test flights scheduled for next March, said Zheng Qiang, a vice president of China Aviation Industry Corp. I, its state-owned manufacturer.
Zheng said the company expects to gain Chinese certification within the next two years and begin commercial production.
"We definitely will be able to test the jet next year. I am confident," Zheng said.
Original plans called for the jet to be ready by late 2005, but design problems forced a delay, Zheng said.
"We had to adjust the schedule somewhat. We view this as perfectly normal. Other aircraft manufacturers often have to make such adjustments."


Updated : 2021-10-20 02:39 GMT+08:00