Chinese aircraft to gain greater US access under new deal between CAAC, FAA

Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2017/11/7 17:23:41

China's aviation safety regulator expects a recently signed aircraft certification agreement with the US to boost US market access for Chinese-made planes and aircraft parts.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in an e-mail to Reuters that an agreement it announced in October with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would widen "mutual recognition" of each country's aviation products.

It comes as Chinese planemaker Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) seeks overseas certification for its C919 and ARJ-21 jets to sell more planes abroad.

Europe's aviation safety regulator said in April that it was in the process of certifying the C919.

The CAAC said the new agreement replaces a 1995 deal in which China had agreed to accept all US aviation products but the US had agreed to accept only 23 small Chinese aircraft models and some plane parts.

The latest agreement fulfils a commitment both countries made in 2005 and follows several years of talks, according to both regulators.

"The newly signed Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness realizes the full reciprocal recognition of aviation products between China and the US. The scope of the agreement covers all types of aviation products and is meant to be comprehensive," it said.

The FAA said the agreement, which took effect on October 17, allows "each authority to leverage approvals completed by the other with respect to design, production and airworthiness".

The agreement does not guarantee automatic recognition of each other's certification procedures, the CAAC said, noting that approvals would depend on the products and that some accreditation reviews could still be needed.

The CAAC also said that it actively encouraged and supported Chinese enterprises to apply for FAA accreditation, including COMAC for its C919 and ARJ-21.

The narrow-body C919, which will compete with Boeing's 737, is a symbol of China's efforts to become a key player in the global civil aerospace market.

A source close to COMAC called the agreement "a significant step".

COMAC did not respond to requests for comment.

The move toward closer aviation ties comes days ahead of a visit to China by US President Donald Trump, which industry sources and diplomats say could lead to new Boeing aircraft sales to the world's fastest-growing aviation market.

The sources say that the country's State buying agency regularly agrees large-scale aircraft purchases during visits by US or European leaders, especially in the early stages of a foreign presidency.

A spokesman for Boeing declined to comment.

Almost 30 US companies, including General Electric and Honeywell International, led by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, will join the trade mission, which is set to start on Wednesday.


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