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Tue, Mar 05, 2002 - Page 18 News List

Taiwan set to sign draft aerospace deal with US

By Richard Dobson  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan will sign the draft version of a bilateral aerospace manufacturing agreement with the US government later this month -- greatly expanding the range of aviation components and products that local firms can export to North America.

According to local media, officials from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and Taiwan's representative office in Washington will sign the draft of the bilateral air safety agreement (BASA) by the end of the month, with the formal signing following late next year.

As the BASA is an official agreement signed between two governments, officials from AIT and Taiwan negotiators have been at pains to keep the negotiations low-profile so as to avoid the usual protests from Beijing, which has also signed a similar agreement with the US.

Officials from both Taiwan and the US -- who have been facilitating negotiations on behalf of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Taiwan Civil Aeronautic Administration (CAA) -- refused to comment on the progress of the agreement talks when sought for comment yesterday.

A BASA deal guarantees that both parties recognize each other's airworthiness certification standards and also the procedures imposed by each other's civil aviation bodies on specified aircraft products and services, according to the US FAA.

According to an informed source who spoke on condition of anonymity, Taiwan has presented its standards for locally-made cargo containers for consideration to the FAA so that these can be included in the agreement.

However, because the conditions of the agreement are flexible, Taiwan aerospace manufacturers can later expand the range of products that they are allowed export to the US, according to the source.

Making aircraft parts:

* The bilateral air safety agreement (BASA) will greatly expand the range of aviation components and products that local firms can export to North America.

* A BASA deal guarantees that both parties recognize each other's airworthiness certification standards and also the procedures imposed by each other's civil aviation bodies on specified aircraft products and services.

Source: TT


"There are a lot of opportunities," the source said. "The purpose of the agreement is that there is an opportunity for product expansion."

The source used Malaysia as an example -- explaining how, when the country began the BASA negotiating process, it had only applied for certification of its aircraft tires. But before the final agreement was signed it had showed the FAA that its industries could also build small, all-metal ai0rcraft weighing 5670kg or less.

"Now they are expanding to all-composite planes, showing that once you get a BASA there are opportunities for expansion," he added.

Currently Taiwan has 105 certified aerospace companies producing 582 CAA certified items.

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