The new Boeing
717-200 jetliner today received joint certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Europe's Joint Aviation Authorities for the airplane's type design. In addition, the FAA granted production certification. The FAA and JAA - which comprises the aviation regulatory agencies of 30 countries - issued these certifications during a ceremony at Boeing Long Beach Division facilities.
"This is an important milestone for the 717 program," said Jim Phillips, vice president and general manager of the Long Beach Division, where the 717 is being assembled. "The 717 has successfully passed all of the stringent testing requirements mandated by the FAA and JAA, and it's now ready to enter passenger service with airlines in the U.S. and Europe."
Phillips noted that in April 1995 the Boeing
777 was the first airplane to receive a concurrent (same day) approval.
"The 717 certification was conducted under an unprecedented FAA/JAA program called Concurrent and Cooperative Certification," said Phillips. "This is the first airplane to have a single basis of certification, which was developed and implemented jointly by a FAA/JAA team."
The 717 also has a single FAA/JAA build standard, he said, which "allows the seamless transfer of airplanes" between U.S. and European registry.
The inter-agency team agreed up-front to the basis of certification and to a schedule for completing their work.
"This unique close coordination and relationship of trust has produced the timely and efficient certification of the 717-200," said Jerry Callaghan, director of the 717 Development Program.
The 717 completed a yearlong flight-test and certification program in August. Five 717 airplanes accumulated more than 2,000 hours and more than 1,900 flights. This included a route-proving operation with launch customer AirTran Airways, and demonstration flights at the Paris Air Show in June and subsequent 10-day, 14-city European sales tour.
"The program has revealed great technical results, such as better fuel efficiency, lower airplane noise and lower weight than original estimates," Callaghan said.
All test airplanes have returned to Long Beach from their base of operations at the Boeing test center in Yuma, Ariz. The first test airplane will remain in a flight-ready status to support follow-on certification activities as required. The second and third test airplanes have been decommissioned, and their test equipment is being removed. The first production airplane is being readied for an Asian sales tour in October. In addition, there are 13 other 717s in production. Twelve 717s will be delivered to customers this year.
Customers in the United States and Europe have placed 115 firm orders and 110 options for the 717-200. The 717 is the only new 100-seat jetliner in production today. It is specifically designed for the short-range, high-frequency market. AirTran Airways, based in Orlando, Fla., will receive its first 717 later this month. The other customers are Trans World Airlines, based in St. Louis, Mo.; Bavaria International Aircraft Leasing Co., Munich, Germany; and Pembroke Capital, Ltd. in Dublin, Ireland - both of which are leasing 717s to carriers in Europe.