MIAMI — Bombardier held a press conference this morning to announce the certification by Transport Canada of the CS100, the smallest member of the CSeries family aircraft. Canadian government representatives, including the Minister of Transport Honorable Marc Garneau, and top program leaders of the CSeries project were present at the event to address the media.

“I am happy to confirm that Transport Canada has delivered a Type Certificate for the CSeries aircraft,” said Marc Garneau. “After a careful examination of the CSeries’ design, production, and assembly, Transport Canada approved the design, airworthiness, limitations, and operating conditions of the aircraft.”

François Caza, Vice President, Product Development and Chief Engineer explained how certification is an important step in the program. Type Certificate is important because it allows to move forward to the next step, which is the delivery phase.

“Our highly skilled Flight Test, Ground Test and Engineering teams, along with our suppliers, have successfully designed, developed, tested and certified this best-in-class aircraft — introducing multiple new technologies resulting in the aircraft exceeding the performance targets we committed at program launch,” said Mr. Caza. “I applaud our employees’ innovation, dedication and engagement on achieving this key milestone. I am confident we will execute on our next commitments with the same diligence and excellence.”

Rob Dewar, Vice President, CSeries Program, covered an overview of the CSeries program along with specifications and performance. He stated that the aircraft offers a 20% lower fuel burn and provides unbeatable operating economics. The CSeries has the widest seats and the widest windows in its class. There is space for a carry on bag for each passengers on the plane.

Alain Bellemare, President and CEO of Bombardier made a clear statement for the people who doubt of the manufacturer’s ability to sell the aircraft. “Not only have we reached our objectives, but we even surpassed them at the performance level of the aircraft. We have the best aircraft in the world in the 100 to 150-seat market segment. We are very proud of this.” “Today, we can celebrate together.”

During a Q&A session, Dewar said that the next step is to start training the pilots, and to get certification with the EASA and the FAA. First roller out in March 2013, everything is on track for entry into service of the CS100  to Swiss at the second quarter of 2016. When a reporter asked if Porter still had an order with Bombardier, Cromer said it was affirmative and that Bombardier was still in talks with Porter Airlines in figuring out how it plans to strategically use the aircraft. Jets are currently not allowed to fly to Toronto City Airport due to noise constraints, but Cromer assured “the footprints in terms of noise of this aircraft are amazing.”

Last month, the Quebec government bailed out Bombardier, so now it has a direct stake in any future success of the project. That came on the same day the company announced a $3.2-billion writedown on the project which has seen many delays and cost overruns. Currently, the Greater Montreal area is the third largest aerospace production hub in the world and it contributes every year more than $29 billion in the Canadian economy.

As of today, the Montreal-based manufacturer has received 243 firm orders and 603 commitments for both models of the aircraft, the CS100 and the CS300. Swiss will be the launch customer of the CS100 and the aircraft is expected to enter service with Swiss in the first half of 2016. The multinational company said the larger CS300 is on track to receive its Type Certificate within the next six months and is scheduled to enter service in the second half of 2016.

Tour of the CSeries

Following the press conference, the media was invited to take a tour of the interior of the CS100 and a prototype of the CS300.

Below is a gallery of the CS100. I was unable to take pictures of the CS300 because it contained confidential equipment inside the airframe. The CS300 was not configured with seats but had water tanks all over the cabin. An engineer at Bombardier told me those reservoirs simulate the weight of the seats and of the passengers. The crew is also able to monitor the centre of gravity of the aircraft.