FAA certifies Airbus Corporate Jetliner

 - May 8, 2008, 9:42 AM

The Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) received FAA type certification on October 28. The approval came just over three years after the large-cabin bizjet was certified by Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) and clears the way for deliveries in the U.S.

Airbus has yet to go public on how many of the ACJ program’s total of 30 “commitments” are for U.S. customers. A company statement said the aircraft has now been cleared for both scheduled service and private operations. The aircraft had been due to enter service with United Airlines’ stillborn Avolar fractional-ownership program.

Airbus is actively pursuing corporate shuttle and all-business-class airline applications for the ACJ. PrivatAir in April will start operating a pair of A319s to carry Airbus staff between facilities in France, the UK and Germany (see story above).

The ACJ type certificate is an amendment of the existing certification for the A319 airliner from which it is derived. The main differences from the A319 are six supplementary fuel tanks installed in the cargo hold, a higher operating ceiling of 41,000 ft and built-in airstairs. The European airframer hopes to have completed 180-min ETOPS approval for the aircraft by next month.

The ACJ also retains the A320 family’s fly-by-wire controls and Category 3B autoland capability. In September Airbus appointed Rockwell Collins as the avionics supplier
of reference for the type’s communications, navigation and surveillance equipment.

To date, 14 ACJs have been delivered, 12 of which are in service. The current price of the aircraft is $39 million (green)