Certificate cements Cirrus' production status

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Cirrus Design has received the production certificate for its SR20 light aircraft. This cements Cirrus' status as an aircraft manufacturer a decade after the former kitplane company decided to enter the certificated aircraft market.

Production certification allows the company to inspect aircraft independently, without direct oversight by the US Federal Aviation Administration. Cirrus says it is almost a decade since the FAA last awarded a production certificate to a new US aircraft manufacturer.

The approval will not immediately speed up production of the all-composite SR20, "but is a big step towards our goal of producing one aircraft every business day by the last quarter of the year", says Ron Gansior, vice-president of quality assurance. Cirrus delivered seven aircraft in May.

Four employees have been certificated as designated manufacturing inspection representatives, an authority delegated by the FAA to award a certificate of airworthiness. The first aircraft to be certificated by Cirrus under its new authority was the 39th SR20 off the Duluth, Minnesota, assembly line. The company has orders for almost 600 aircraft.

Gansior says Cirrus developed its own quality assurance procedures using the international ISO 9000 standard as a guide. The next step is to obtain organisational designated airworthiness representative certification from the FAA.