The US FAA has certified ATR’s -600 series turboprops, opening greater sales opportunities for the popular regional aircraft.
“Obtaining this new certification will allow us to expand the commercial and operational scope of our family of aircraft,” stated Filippo Bagnato, CEO of ATR. “Since their launch, the ATR -600s have become the best-selling under-90-seat regional aircraft in the world, a success furthermore confirmed by their excellent operational reliability and their popularity with passengers.
“We are convinced the FAA certification is going to open doors for us in high-potential markets, to replace turboprop aircraft from previous generations as well as jets, which are less and less cost-effective.”
ATR said much of the certification work conducted by the European airworthiness authority EASA formed the basis of the FAA approval, with all of the tests performed by EASA supplemented by flights conducted by FAA test pilots used to validate operation of the aircraft’s new systems.
The -600 series, which was introduced in Australia by Virgin Australia last year, incorporates a new Thales glass cockpit with five LCD screens, as well as new communication, navigation and monitoring systems, flight management system (FMS), automatic pilot, alert management and multi-purpose computer (MPC), which integrates aircraft maintenance and protection functions in particular.
Since the -600 series program was launched in October 2007, ATR has received orders for more than 300 of the aircraft. At present, almost two thirds of the under-90-seat regional aircraft on order the world over are ATRs from the new “-600” series, the company says.