US regulators have approved Israel Aircraft Industries’ conversion of Boeing 747-400 Combi aircraft from passenger to freighter configuration.

IAI’s specialist Bedek Aviation Group received supplemental type certification for the conversion from the US FAA and the Israeli civil aviation administration yesterday.

The aircraft used for the certification process is to be operated by Air China and is owned by US lessor Guggenheim Aviation. It first flew, with the modifications, on 9 April.

IAI is expecting the secure European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval as well as corresponding clearance from the Civil Aviation Administration of China shortly.

“Certification is a vote of confidence in IAI’s ability to perform at the highest levels of technical expertise,” says IAI chief executive Itzhak Nissan.

Bedek, which has converted more than 80 aircraft into freighters, states that the Guggenheim aircraft is the first of its type to be certified as a special freighter from its original configuration.

Source: Flight International