Eclipse Gets EASA Certification

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Eclipse Aviation got some long-awaited good news on Friday with the announcement that the European Aviation Safety Agency has certified the private use of the Eclipse 500 twinjet. The decision allows the company to sell aircraft in 37 European countries for private use. In a news release, the company said it hopes to have commercial certification (EU-OPS 1) in time for air taxi companies to start operations in 2009. Eclipse spokeswoman Alana McCarraher told AVweb the mood at the company's Albuquerque headquarters is upbeat after a tough couple of weeks in which employee paychecks were delayed due to a financial crunch. "We're just all celebrating, today," she said.

McCarraher said the EASA certification is not directly tied to the company's securing its next round of $200 million to $300 million in financing. "It can't hurt, though," she said. The EASA certification comes with conditions. European aircraft will have to be equipped with the full Avio NG 1.5 avionics suite (which the FAA certified Friday) and they'll also have to come with a third attitude indicator and dual Mode S diversity transponders. McCarraher said the European certification should translate to more sales. "We expect more orders to come from this," she said.