The long and winding road that has been the certification of the Airbus H160 by the US FAA is showing signs of reaching its conclusion.

Certification has been stalled on two issues. One, to do with the Helionix avionics suite, has been resolved; the other, more complex issue centres on the type’s redundant main gearbox lubrication system, which is not covered by the agency’s present airworthiness standards for helicopters.

The sign of movement on the snag is the news that the FAA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR), which details the special conditions and standards “that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent” to the existing requirements.

Comments on the NPR are invited by 26 June. Airbus will doubtless be hoping this is a sign that the long-awaited certification will be completed this year, perhaps as early as September.

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