European authorities have started inspecting the Sukhoi Superjet 100 as part of the effort to certificate the twinjet outside of Russia.

The preliminary inspection of prototype 97005 is being undertaken at Toulouse Blagnac airport to support the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee's type certificate procedure.

Sukhoi said the inspection began on 27 June and will continue to 10 July.

This procedure will include 15 flights carried out with participation from European Aviation Safety Agency pilots. Sukhoi is aiming for EASA certification this year.

"EASA certification is a top priority milestone for the entire [Superjet] programme," said Sukhoi. "We look forward to continuing the successful collaboration with EASA and will certainly do our best to receive the EASA certificate."

Sukhoi said the certification is crucial to the delivery, planned next year, of the type to Mexican carrier Interjet following a deal secured by marketing arm Superjet International.

EASA has already certificated the PowerJet SaM146 engine for the Superjet. Russian authorities awarded the aircraft its type certificate in February this year, ahead of service entry by Armavia in April.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news