Bombardier whittles down paper mountain in CSeries approval bid

Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:01pm EST
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By Tim Hepher and Allison Lampert

RIGA/MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canada's Bombardier (BBDb.TO: Quote) is tackling a complex paper trail for regulators as it draws close to approval for its CSeries jet, while pursuing a global offensive to boost flagging sales.

Executives in Europe to showcase the jet to buyers including Latvia's AirBaltic said safety certification would be completed this year as planned.

Documenting software is an increasingly challenging step in certifying high-tech modern jets, and one that can cause last-minute delays, especially when outside suppliers are involved.

"There are 18,000 certification documents that we had to do and we are down to a few hundred," Dewar said.

"There is a formal approval process that is very rigorous, but I am not whatsoever concerned about doing certification this year," he said, adding the risk of delays in the schedule had eased with the recent completion of flight testing.

Industry sources say software documentation, maintenance details and releasing the flight manual are the tasks left before the plane can be cleared for service.

Following two years of delays and doubts over the Canadian company's ability to complete CSeries development, Bombardier is on a sales offensive, having won a cash injection from Quebec and brought the aircraft close to certification.

One of the perceived risks has been "whether we would have enough liquidity to get us through, and since the recent announcements that is behind us," said program head Rob Dewar.   Continued...