Another First For Pacific Aerospace Corporation
April 7, 2004
CAPTION: Pacific Aerospace Corporation assembly manager Jim Barry (right) oversees assembly workers (from left) Jason Roe, Derek Lewis and Mark Runciman as the Australian-bound PAC 750XL is given a final inspection before departing Hamilton today.
Hard on the heels of American Federal Aviation Administration certification for its PAC 750XL aircraft, Pacific Aerospace Corporation has received certification for the same aircraft from the Australian aviation authorities.
Type Acceptance certification from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority was received for the PAC 750XL within days of the FAA certification last month. The Australian certification accepts and recognises the NZCAA Type Certificate which effectively means the company can market its flagship aircraft in Australia.
The first Australia-bound PAC 750XL departed Hamilton today for its new home at Sydney Skydive, in New South Wales.
The first passenger aircraft to be designed and manufactured in New Zealand, the PAC 750XL is also believed to be the first aircraft built in the last 25 years specifically to target the adventure parachuting market.
Pacific Aerospace Corporation’s managing director, Brian Hare, says it’s very appropriate the first PAC 750XL sold into Australia is going to a skydiving operator. However, he says, the PAC 750XL is a genuine multi-purpose plane whose uses go far beyond parachuting.
“This aircraft is ideal for carrying cargo, reconnaissance, sightseeing, commuting, mineral exploration and medical and mineral use,” says Hare. “And this is reflected in the enquiries we are receiving.”
Hare says since the FAA certification, the PAC 750XL has attracted worldwide interest. The company’s website is taking up to 5000 hits a day.
“We are starting to convert options into orders with confirmations and deposits paid on five new aircraft as a direct result of the FAA certification. Into Australia alone, we are currently negotiating the sale of another three aircraft.”
Hare predicts that within one year his company could have aircraft in seven different markets including Europe, US, Australia and New Zealand. Three aircraft already under construction are earmarked for Switzerland, the UK and the US.
At $1.7m per plane, Pacific Aerospace Corporation is sitting on export orders in excess of $440m over the next 10 years.
To cope with the added workload, the company has taken on 40 new permanent employees since November – the latest being all 10 students who graduated in March from the Waikato Institute of Technology’s Fabrication Foundations course.
The official FAA Certificate was presented to Pacific Aerospace Corporation at the FAA Asia Pacific Bilateral Partners Dialogue Meeting in Wellington last week.