The US Department of State has moved to clarify rules for exporting US-made parts on civil airliners that also serve sensitive roles for the US military.

The proposal may ease concerns by US manufacturers as civil airliners take on increasing roles in military applications, such as the US Navy’s order for 108 Boeing P-8A maritime patrol aircraft that are based on the 737-800ERX.

 Boeing P-8A in storm
 © Boeing

“Civil aircraft manufacturers must be able to assure customers that their commercial components will not be classified as military items,” says Marion Blakey, CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association. “Otherwise they risk being cut out of opportunities in the commercial marketplace.”

The proposed rule would expressly exclude parts made for military commercial derivative aircraft from the same process that governs reviews of purely civil aircraft, according to a notice issued by State on 11 April.

The notice allows any party to submit comments about the proposed rule for 30 days. After that deadline, the rule could be modified or finalized as written.

The move to clarify the export issue is among 17 recommendations submitted to the Bush Administration by a coalition of industry advocacy groups, which included the AIA.

“One of the strengths of U.S. aerospace is our ability to export,” Blakey says, “so resolving this confusing regulatory issue will be a significant boost over the long term.”

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news