Eclipse Receives Provisional Certificate

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With balloons, banners, and crowds of special guests, Eclipse Aviation hosted a big celebration yesterday at their pavilion just off Aeroshell Square. Just seven years after announcing a radical plan to build a small jet unlike anything else then on the market, Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn took possession of an official Type Certificate from the FAA. Eclipse flew in 170 of its workers for the event, and dozens of them, wearing white T-shirts labeled "We Did It," looked on and cheered as Raburn accepted the certificate from Acting Secretary of Transportation Maria Cino. The certificate is provisional, and won't allow the company to start customer deliveries yet. They can, however, start to train pilots in the jet. "Today's announcement is significant because it means we anticipate no further major hurdles in the process to award full Type Certification to the Eclipse 500," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said in a news release. "Close teamwork between the FAA and Eclipse has been a hallmark of this certification program, and that will continue as the company works toward full certification." Raburn praised the FAA for their hard work, cooperation, and accessibility in bringing the program this far. The industry has criticized the FAA a lot, he said, but the FAA does not stifle innovation. "The FAA is an enabler of innovation," he said. The full certification is expected by the end of August.