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Japan looks at airworthiness laws ahead of MRJ entry

Japan has set up an expert panel to look into regulations governing aircraft type certificate holders, ahead of Mitsubishi Aircraft’s plan to enter the MRJ regional jet into service in 2020.

There are currently no “explicit regulations” in the country concerning airworthiness activities of aircraft manufacturers, since there has not been a Japan-made commercial aircraft in a long-time, the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) tells FlightGlobal.

Manufacturers of small Japanese aircraft have so far worked based on JCAB orders. Formal regulations however need to be put in place, as Mitsubishi works towards type certification for the MRJ90, and a delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways by mid-2020.

“Japan, as the state of design, needs to fulfil the ICAO requirements of aircraft continuing airworthiness of the MRJ. In February this year, an expert panel was set up in order to discuss to stipulate in the new regulation of Japan the continuing airworthiness activities that the type certificate holders shall follow,” says JCAB.

“The expert panel is discussing not only the continuing airworthiness issues but other matters as to airworthiness and aircraft inspection system in Japan, such as the introduction of a new ICAO CO2 emission standards.”

The bureau adds that it foresees little impact from the new regulation on the MRJ’s development.

This is echoed by Mitsubishi: “We see this as no concern for our programme as we understand the authority is preparing to finalise the regulatory system to manage both operators and OEMs. As part of building a new industry, some changes are required in legislation.”

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