October 22, 2019 / 10:56 PM / 21 days ago

Gulfstream expects more queries during certification after Boeing MAX crashes

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Gulfstream Aerospace Corp President Mark Burns said on Tuesday he expected regulators to ask for more details on software when the company certifies its new G700 long-range corporate jet, following two crashes involving the Boeing 737 MAX.

FILE PHOTO: Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. President Mark Burns speaks during the unveiling of the company's new G700 business jet during a news conference at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 21, 2019. REUTERS/David Becker

Gulfstream, a division of General Dynamics Corp (GD.N), unveiled its widely expected G700 on Monday in Las Vegas, as the biggest business jet show in the world kicks off.

In an interview, Burns said he believed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulators would seek more information during the G700 certification, following the crashes, although did not expect any unreasonable requests.

The process for certifying new aircraft in the United States has come under scrutiny following the fatal crashes of two flights involving the Boeing (BA.N) MAX in October 2018 and March 2019.

During the certification of its G600 business jet in 2019, Gulfstream received additional requests from the FAA on the aircraft systems, understanding how things worked and how they worked together, he said.

“I do think the FAA will take a different approach on software,” he said on the sidelines of the National Business Aviation Association’s annual show.

“I don’t think it’s anything that concerns us. I think that it will be probably very much like the G600 certification. I think it will be the same level of depth of system knowledge that they will want us to explain.”

Gulfstream’s new G700 is a derivative of the planemaker’s strong-selling G650 long-range business jet, but features a new Rolls Royce Pearl 700 engine, cockpit and five-zone space including a crew-rest area.

The G700, which lists for $75 million (£58.19 million), will compete against Bombardier Inc’s (BBDb.TO) flagship Global 7500.

Burns said the aircraft’s first flight would happen “soon,” but declined to specify when.

Gulfstream has already received 10 firm orders for the G700 from Qatar Executive, a division of Qatar Airways and Burns said the plane is sold out for more than a year.

“You cannot get a 2022 airplane,” he said.

Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Richard Chang

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