The US and Japan have put pen to paper on a bilateral aviation safety agreement (BASA) that allows for the reciprocal certification of aircraft and aviation products.

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that the US Embassy charge d’affaires ad interim James Zumwalt and Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hirofumi Nakasone had joined forces to sign the contract.

Acting FAA administrator Lynne A Osmus said that this is a major step in the maturing aviation relationship between the two nations.

“We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with our aviation safety counterparts in Japan.” Osmus said.

The air travel market between the US and Japan was approximately 11.2 million passengers in FY 2008. In FY 2008, Japan was the largest export market for US aerospace products, with exports valued at $8.3bn.

Air traffic levels between the US and the Asia-Pacific region are estimated to increase by 6.5% from 2006 to 2010.

By Daniel Garrun.