Embraer is still waiting for the Chinese government to approve plans to build Legacy 600 and 650 business jets at its former ERJ-145 facility in Harbin.
Ernie Edwards, president of Embraer Executive Jets, says the Brazilian company and its partner, state-owned airframer Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC), have agreed on the business model, but are still waiting for Beijing's nod.
Embraer said in April 2011 that the Harbin facility, in China's Heilongjiang province, would produce business jets after the last ERJ-145 rolled out in the second quarter of 2011. Almost a year later the factory is still idle.
"It is a done deal between the business partners, but that agreement has to be approved by the government. We hope to get some tailwind on this issue in the second or third quarter of 2012," Edwards says.
He adds that it would take about 18 months after approval for the first aircraft to roll off the production line, and deliveries could begin at the end of 2013 or in early 2014.
He expects demand for medium and large-cabin aircraft such as the 600/650 - as well as the Legacy 450, which is likely to receive Chinese certification soon - will to continue to drive demand for business jets in the country.