Gippsland Aeronautics last week won US Federal Aviation Administration and Transport Canada type certification for the GA8 Airvan utility aircraft, paving the way for sales in North America.

The GA8 was originally certificated by Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority in October 2000 to amendment 48 of FAR 23, but the manufacturer was unable to sell the aircraft in North America unless it was certificated to the latest amendment, 54.

Certification under the latest amendment required Gippsland to demonstrate higher levels of safety. The aircraft's type certificate was upgraded to amendment 54 by CASA in March (Flight International, 8-14 April).

Following a three-year supply contract from the US Civil Air Patrol earlier this year, Gippsland is expecting an initial order for six aircraft. The Airvan demonstrator is in Alaska and will fly to Vancouver this month to undergo Canadian demonstration flights.

Gippsland is initially targeting land operations, but the company will launch a programme to fit the GA8 with floats.

Gippsland is now working towards European approval.

Source: Flight International