On Monday, Steven Higgins, section manager for high-performance aircraft and turboprops for EASA, presented Michimasa Fujino, founding president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, with a freshly minted EASA type certificate for the HA-420 HondaJet, opening the door for the first two deliveries, here at EBACE. This follows FAA certification in December 2015 and Mexican approval in March 2016.

Fujino said he’s targeting Brazilian and Canadian certifications in the near future because of the market potential in those regions. More certifications could spur orders from international customers, thereby helping to justify Honda Aircraft’s production ramp-up to two to three aircraft per month. Fujino wants to increase production to four aircraft per month by the end of 2016.

In Europe, the aircraft will be well supported at eight locations, with Marshall Aerospace and Defence hosting HondaJet Northern Europe for the UK and Ireland north of its home base, Cambridge; TAG Aviation hosting HondaJet Southern Europe; and Rheinland Air Service supporting HondaJet Central Europe.

Fujino devoted considerable time during the announcement to pointing out the aircraft’s competitive features, including its 390-kt. cruise speed advantage, 2,000-ft.-higher cruise altitude, 14-inch-greater leg room and 17% better fuel efficiency compared to the average entry-level light jet. He discussed its novel technologies, including the over-the-wing engine mount configuration, natural laminar flow nose and airfoil, hybrid sandwich and monolithic carbon-composite construction and highly customized Garmin G3000 avionics package.—