Embraer says the Legacy 500 should enter service later this year without operational restrictions despite an ongoing certification dispute with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The existence of the dispute became public on 26 December when the FAA published Embraer’s request to receive an exemption for the Legacy 500 from a new safety regulation for all transport-category aircraft.

The regulation tightens the standard for the crashworthiness of a side-facing seat. It was adopted by the FAA in 2011, or two years after Embraer applied for a type certificate for the Legacy 500.

The FAA required the Legacy 500 to comply with the new standard, according to Embraer’s request for exemption.

However, no side-facing seat in the market currently exists that meets the FAA’s new standard, Embraer says. Such a seat is not available until Embraer builds as many as 55 Legacy 500s, according to the company’s filing.

But Embraer says in a statement to Flightglobal that it is “confident” the FAA will approve the exemption.

Otherwise, Embraer would have deliver the first 55 Legacy 500s with a side-facing seat for two passengers that could not be used during take-off or landing, the company says in the filing.

Embraer designed the side-facing seat before 2009 to meet a previous FAA standard, which allowed legs of the passengers seated in the divan seat to “flail” up to 45°.

The FAA adopted a new rule in 2011 that requires sidefacing seats to limit leg-flail to 35°, Embraer says in the filing.

Embraer plans to deliver the first Legacy 500 before 1 July after a nearly 18-month delay.

Source: FlightGlobal.com