Canadian Manufacturing

U.S. shutdown delaying deliveries of Bombardier aircraft

Layoffs at Federal Aviation Administration mean new aircraft can't be registered south of the border

MONTREAL—The government shutdown south of the border is preventing Bombardier from delivering aircraft to American customers and collecting millions of dollars in sales.

The Montreal-based manufacturer says it can’t ship two regional aircraft, with a combined value of about US$75-million, because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has laid off employees that register new aircraft.

A registration number is required before banks will close the financing to pay for its aircraft purchase.

Bombardier has one CRJ900 set for delivery to Delta Air Lines, and a Q400 turboprop to an undisclosed customer.

Spokesman Marc Duchesne said the closure of the FAA Registry Office is a “nuisance.”

The government agency asked 800 employees, including some safety inspectors, to return to work this week.

More than 2,900 inspectors have been furloughed over the budget battle in Congress.

In addition to commercial aircraft, an industry association says the registry closure is expected to hold up the delivery of 156 small-sized and business aircraft valued at almost US$1.9-billion that are scheduled for delivery in the first two to three weeks of October.

Bombardier says the shutdown is having a “minimal” impact so far on its business jets.

The world’s largest business jet maker is working on confidential contingency plans.

Its CSeries and Learjet 85 aren’t affected because the aircraft are several months away from first delivery.

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