Airbus' 21st century flagship jetliner has received a Validation of Type Certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), marking a key milestone for the A380's future operations in this important market.
Type certification by international governing authorities is required for all new aircraft to ensure they meet or exceed all airworthiness requirements.
By issuing the validation document, China confirms that the A380â€™s design complies with the country's aviation regulations and endorses the original Type Certificate issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 12 December 2006.
The first Chinese customer for the A380 is China Southern Airlines, which ordered five of the double-deck aircraft in 2005. Deliveries are scheduled to begin during 2011.
To prepare for the A380â€™s service entry in China, CAAC has set up an A380 working group. Members of this body include officials in charge of flight standards, airworthiness, airport management, air control and the CAAC's regional administration. They are tasked with following A380 technical updates from Airbus and the European Aviation Safety Agency, studying and formulating operational standards and policies for the A380, and coordinating all matters relating to the aircraft.
The overall Airbus fleet in China has grown from one aircraft in 1985 to more than 530 today - and covers a full range of aircraft from the single-aisle A320 Family to the widebody A330/A340.