US, Japan sign aviation safety pact

Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 15:18 by Aviation Correspondent

The governments of the United States and Japan have signed a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) as well as another pact on related implementation procedures.
The agreement, signed in Tokyo, allows for the reciprocal certification of aircraft and aviation products and also deals with areas such as airworthiness certification, technical assistance as well as environmental testing and approvals.

James P Zumwalt, United States Embassy Charge d’Affairs ad interim, signed the bilateral aviation safety agreement on behalf of the United States government and
Hirofumi Nakasone, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, signed the pact on behalf of the Japanese government.

The Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement’s Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness was signed by Dorothy Reimold, acting assistant administrator for
international aviation of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Toru Miyashita, director-general of the engineering department of the Japan
Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB).

In a joint statement issued after signing the agreement, the FAA and the JCAB said that both the agencies had “worked closely for several years to ensure that our
respective technical expertise and procedures for airworthiness certification meet the high standards we each set for aviation safety.”

Under the bilateral pact, the FAA would be able to accept standard aircraft parts and some aircraft designs from manufacturers in Japan and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau would be able to do the same from manufacturers in the United States.

According to official data, the air travel market between the United States and Japan was around 11.2 million passengers in financial year 2008.

And, in financial year 2008, Japan was the largest export market for US aerospace products – with exports worth $8.3 billion.

Air traffic levels between the United States and the Asia-Pacific region are estimated to go up by 6.5% in 2010.

Meanwhile, Qatar and Japan have exchanged two ‘diplomatic notes’ relating to the amendment of appendix of the ‘Agreement for Air Services’ between the two
countries.

In a statement issued in Doha, the capital of Qatar, Yukio Kitazume, Japan’s Ambassador to Qatar, said that, with the exchange of the diplomatic notes, Qatar
Airways would operate passenger flights to Narita International Airport in Tokyo, in March 2010.

At present, Qatar Airways, the flag-carrier airline of Qatar, operates seven passenger flights a week to Kansai International Airport in Osaka in Japan.

Qatar Airways has said that the frequency of these flights would be either maintained or raised after the launch of the flights to Narita International Airport in Tokyo in 2010.