The Xian Aircraft MA60 is set to receive type certification from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), a move that will allow the Chinese-made turboprop to start flying in the country.
A seven-member team from CAAN was in China earlier this month to verify the aircraft's performance and standards. The team covered all requirements under the Civil Aviation Administration of China's (CAAC) CCAR-25 regulations, examining the MA60's flight performance, structure, engines, design and limitations, says Xian Aircraft.
It adds that at the end of its visit, CAAN also signed an agreement stating that its validation of the MA60 was conducted successfully.
Nepal Airlines signed an agreement with AVIC International for two MA60s and four Harbin Y12 aircraft last December. Part of the purchase will be financed via a grant from the Chinese government.
The turboprop, however, has in recent months had its fair share of incidents, leading various regulators to question its safety. In June, Myanmar's civil aviation department grounded MA60s in the country, following two incidents where Myanma Airways' MA60s skidded off the runway while landing. Both aircraft were badly damaged. In June, a Merpati Nusantara Airlines' MA60 also suffered damage after a hard landing at Kupang's El Tari airport in Indonesia, leading the authorities to conduct a "special audit" on the type.
The MA60 and its newer model MA600 have mostly been sold to airline customers in developing countries.