Mitsubishi Aircraft has opened a new US headquarters in Renton, Washington, as part of its continuing global expansion.

The new headquarters will house members of a global team that is responsible for finalising the development of Mitsubishi Aircraft’s regional jet (MRJ) programme.

The team will also handle engineering, sales, marketing and customer support, and is also expected to contribute to future product development.

Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hisakazu Mizutani said: “We are proud to announce this latest investment in our growing global organisation, particularly given the importance of the North American regional aircraft market.

“This is an exciting time for our company. We’ve built a strong team to deliver our aircraft to market and are preparing for the next phase for our company.”

The new office in the aerospace hub of Washington will enable the company to meet demand in the North American regional segment.

“Today’s announcement reiterates our commitment to and optimism about this market moving forward.”

Mitsubishi Aircraft chief development officer Alex Bellamy said: “Demand in the North American regional segment is expected to grow beyond the more than 1,800 aircraft currently in service.

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“We view the North American market as a driver of our growth, and it is strategically important for us to be close to our customers and support that market demand. Today’s announcement reiterates our commitment to and optimism about this market moving forward.”

The company’s team is currently performing certification flight tests from the facility at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington.

Mitsubishi Aircraft America president Hitoshi Iwasa stated that the latest investment in the US will help expand the company’s footprint in the US and accrue other significant benefits.

Iwasa said: “We are continuing to make progress in certification flight testing for the MRJ90 in close partnership with both the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).”

The company’s MRJ90 programme is progressing towards type certification with. The first delivery of the aircraft is scheduled for next year to launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA).

The jet under the MRJ programme was originally expected to be delivered in 2013.

In March, Mitsubishi Aircraft received the letter of authorisation (LOA) from the FAA. The LOA authorises the FAA team to be onboard the aircraft to assist the team in certification activities.