EASA recently published a rule allowing commercial air transport (CAT) operations for night or instrument meteorological condition (CC), NBAA said. Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material is available.
The operator must document the airframe-engine combination in service by the world fleet and follow maintenance procedures that include engine trend monitoring in order to receive EASA-approval for CAT single-engine turbine-IMC. Airborne weather-detecting equipment, two independently powered attitude indicators and an emergency electrical supply are required onboard.
Single-engine CAT operations have been in the works for nearly two decades — the Joint Aviation Authorities started the effort 17 years ago. However, it did not garner enough votes. The idea was brought back up in 2007 when EASA commissioned a working group study.
”Having a lower-cost option is likely to attract and introduce new people to the market,“ said Brian Humphries, the European Business Aviation Assn.'s president. ”One of our themes is ‘freedom to choose,’ and we want people to have as wide a range of options as they can for using business aviation. The key is to make sure these aircraft are operated in a highly professional manner. The safety case is predicted on proper training and flight planning.”
The new rule could also usher in other developments, like low-density routes not viable for twin-engine airplanes and overnight cargo delivery to remote locations.