Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued a Production Certificate (PC) for ARJ21-700 aircraft to Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) in Beijing on July 9th, 2017. Mr. Li Jian, Deputy Director of CAAC, Mr. He Dongfeng, President of COMAC, Mr. Yin Shijun, Chief Engineer of CAAC, Mr. Yang Shuanchang, Deputy Director General of Equipment Industry Department of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Mr. Jiang Huaiyu, Director of CAAC East China Regional Administration, Mr. Liu Linzong, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Vice President of COMAC, Mr. Zhao Yuerang, Vice President of COMAC and General Director of ARJ21 Program, Mr. Xu Chaoqun, Director General of Department of Aircraft Airworthiness Certification of CAAC, Mr. Hu Zhenjiang, Director General of Department of Flight Standard of CAAC, Mdm Wang Jingling, Deputy Director General of Department of Aircraft Airworthiness Certification of CAAC and Director of ARJ21-700 Production Certification Board, and Mr. Shen Xiaoming, Minister of Shanghai Aircraft Airworthiness Certification Center of CAAC, attended the certificate issuance ceremony. Mr. Xu Chaoqun presided over the ceremony.
Mr. Li Jian fully affirmed the achievements of COMAC in his speech. He pointed out that acquiring the production certificate for ARJ21-700 aircraft was another major milestone following the acquisition of the Type Certificate (TC), which indicates that ARJ21-700 aircraft enters into the phase of batch production formally and shows that COMAC has established a quality management system meeting the requirements of airworthiness regulations. He hoped that COMAC would take the production certification as a new starting point, seize the opportunity, stay true to the mission, focus on solving the problems occurred during the operation of ARJ21-700 aircraft and concerned with the design and operation support with an attitude of being responsible to the party and the people, further integrate into civil aviation safety and operation management system with respect to design, production and services, sum up experience, continuously improve the management system, and accelerate design optimization, in order to ensure that each aircraft delivered meets approved design and is in safe and serviceable condition. He expressed that CAAC would support ARJ21 program as always, and regulate the continual improvement, batch production and operation of the aircraft effectively in accordance with the regulations, in order to ensure that the aircraft operates safely and smoothly and achieves commercial success.
Mr. He Dongfeng expressed that the production certification indicates that ARJ21-700 aircraft has officially got a pass for mass production and lays the foundation for the aircraft to comprehensively go to the market. He stressed that as the follow-up work of ARJ21 program was still arduous, COMAC would make persistent efforts, adhere to the principles of customer centered, market oriented, quality first and safety foremost, carry out key tasks such as design optimization, batch production and delivery, operation support and market development in a down-to-earth manner, strive to build ARJ21 into an aircraft that "airlines are willing to purchase, pilots are willing to fly, and passengers are willing to ride", meet customer and market demands with all their efforts, accelerate to make up for the shortage of Chinese civil aircraft supply, and make new contributions to building China into a manufacturing power.
Mr. Yang Shuanchang expressed that since the ARJ21 program was set up in 2002, we have explored and established a series of civil aircraft development systems including the standard specification system, design assurance system, production system, customer service system, flight test management system, supplier management system, quality management system, airworthiness management system and operation support system and suitable for China's actual conditions, enriched the connotation of independent intellectual property right, and promoted the development and progress of China's airworthiness system. He said that ARJ21 program was a great achievement in the development of China's civil aircraft industry and provided the basis for the development of the follow-up civil aircraft such as C919. He hoped that COMAC could make persistent efforts, work strictly in accordance with the production quality system approved by CAAC, and strengthen the maintenance and perfection of batch production quality system. He also said that Equipment Industry Department of MIIT would support the development of COMAC as always, support the "airworthiness breakthrough" specific work led by CAAC, and serve the trunk liner strategy actively.
The production certification of ARJ21-700 aircraft shows that the production quality assurance system of COMAC meets the requirements of CAAC airworthiness regulations, indicates that ARJ21 program can now enter batch production, and lays the foundation for the batch production of other aircraft types going forward. With the issuance of the production certificate for ARJ21-700 aircraft, COMAC will strengthen management and expand production capacity to constantly meet customer and market demands and accelerate the marketization development of Chinese jets.
Generally, a civil aircraft needs to acquire three key airworthiness certificates from being developed to being delivered to customers, which are respectively a Type Certificate (TC) to demonstrate that the design of the aircraft type meets airworthiness regulations, a Production Certificate (PC) to demonstrate that the batch production quality system meets airworthiness procedures, and an Airworthiness Certificate (AC) to demonstrate that the physical configuration of an individual aircraft meets type design. The production certification reflects the high-level production organization, quality management and comprehensive management of the aircraft's main manufacturer, and means that there are regulations to go by and documents to trace to for the aircraft production from the raw material and supplier management to each manufacturing step and detail, which ensures that all parts, components and systems are traceable, safe and controlled, in order to guarantee that the aircraft manufacturer can continually and constantly produce aircraft with positive quality, safety and serviceability.
CAAC East China Regional Administration accepted the PC application of ARJ21-700 aircraft submitted by COMAC on December 9th, 2014. Since the opening meeting of ARJ21-700 Production Certification Board (PCB) was held in Shanghai in April 2015, COMAC has been committed to establishing and improving a production quality assurance system which meets the requirements of CAAC airworthiness regulations under the strong support and strict examination of the authority, and creatively established a responsible manager system and a functional line organization structure centering on the management principle of "one company having one system, one manual and one process", which broke the original barriers of each center, passed down the responsibilities to relevant business departments level by level according to the functional line organization structure, and standardized the preparation and management of program files at the same time. A Production Quality Assurance Manual and 190 program files were finally formed after review by experts of quality supervision group, sand table exercise of program files, internal review of test run, and concentrated review and on-site review by ARJ21-700 PCB.
At the closing meeting of ARJ21-700 Production Certification Board (PCB) on June 9th, 2017, it was agreed that ARJ21-700 PCB had completed the review of the quality system in accordance with the procedures specified in Production Certification and Surveillance Procedures, confirmed that the production quality assurance system of COMAC met the requirements of 21.139 and 21.143 of Certification Procedures for Civil Aviation Products and Parts (CCAR-21-R3), and proposed that a production certificate for ARJ21-700 aircraft should be issued to COMAC.
The production certification is a key milestone marking the transition from design and development to batch production of ARJ21-700 aircraft and a necessary step for the program to achieve market success and commercial success. Since the first ARJ21-700 aircraft was delivered to Chengdu Airlines on November 29th, 2015, this type of aircraft has accumulatively carried more than 15,000 passengers and obtained a total of 413 orders from 19 customers by now.
Officers of the MIIT, CAAC, Civil Aviation Management Institute of China, and relevant departments of COMAC headquarters participated in the certificate issuance ceremony.