FAA Goes Global

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Business is booming at the FAA. It's so good, in fact, that the agency last week signed a deal with Bombardier Aerospace awarding a fixed-price contract for a new Bombardier Global 5000 business jet. The decision marks the FAA as the first government operator to select the newly certificated bizjet. In fact, the announcement comes only a week after the type -- designed as a high-speed business jet with intercontinental legs -- received its type certificate from the U.S. agency. Transport Canada awarded full certification on March 12; the European Aviation Safety Association granted its approval on July 15, followed closely by the Joint Aviation Authority (JAA), which issued its letter of recommendation to member countries on Aug. 26. Bombardier plans to begin deliveries of the Global 5000 by January 2005. Bombardier will deliver the Global 5000 to the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., by Sept. 30, 2005, for use in the agency's special-missions fleet. Currently, the FAA operates 11 Bombardier Challenger 604, Bombardier Challenger 601 and Bombardier Learjet 60 business jets. "With FAA type approval and impending entry into service by year end, the Global 5000 program is solidly on track," said Peter Edwards, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. The Global 5000 features a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.85 and can fly eight passengers and three crew 4,800 nautical miles. That's what we call a "special" mission.