Comac is close to securing the production certificate for its ARJ21 regional jet, sources say.
FlightGlobal understands that the manufacturer has completed all necessary work and met the requirements. A final evaluation by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has also been completed.
The Chinese manufacturer is scheduled to be awarded the production certificate in a ceremony this weekend, sources add.
The certification comes just weeks after the ARJ21 completed its first year of commercial operations, and more than 2.5 years since the aircraft was type certificated. Launch customer Chengdu Airlines has two of the regional jets in service, operating 16 sectors weekly from Chengdu to Changsha and Shanghai.
Last September, FlightGlobal reported that the CAAC has given Comac a list of seven or eight improvements it must make to the jet before it will provide a production certificate for the type. Without a production certificate, every aircraft manufactured has to be certificated individually.
The manufacturer also told FlightGlobal that it was on a mission to upgrade the jet, following feedback from Chengdu Airlines. Items that needed addressing included reducing cabin nose, simplifying the aircraft's warning systems, installing an aircraft crew address and reporting system, resolving a door pressure issue, as well as to make the aircraft safe for operations even in heavy rain.
In April, Comac undertook new flight tests following some design optimisation of the aircraft.
Comac is targeting to deliver five ARJ21s to Chengdu Airlines this year.