Authorities clear ATR 72 for London City operations

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ATR has secured approval for its ATR 72 turboprop to operate to London City Airport, clearing the way for Ireland's Aer Arann to use the type for its Isle of Man connection.

The approval followed trials at the downtown airport conducted on 30 January.

Both the smaller ATR 42-300 and -500 variants already have clearance to operate into London City, the approach path to which demands a 5.5° glideslope.

"We are very satisfied with this approval because it will provide our ATR 72-500 operators with the opportunity to expand their network to the financial heart of the UK," says ATR senior vice-president, operations, Luigi Lombardi.

Aer Arann started Isle of Man flights from London in January, restoring some of the capacity to the island depleted after the collapse of EuroManx. It will immediately put ATR 72s on the service.

Chief Executive Paul Schutz says: "Introduction of the ATR 72-500 was a major element in our plans to offer a high quality product on this key business and leisure route."

Separately, Embraer is hoping to perform some steep-approach trials for its 190 twinjet at London City by the end of March.

Last December British Airways' CityFlyer division ordered 11 Embraer jets, comprising six 170s and five 190SRs. BA CityFlyer will take delivery of its first 170 by September and plans to operate five of the type by year-end. The first 190SR is expected for delivery by March 2010.

While the 170 is already certificated at London City, the 190 variant has yet to receive approval for operations. London City airport officials have confirmed to Commercial Aviation Online that Embraer will perform flights trials on 28 March.

London City director of operations policy and planning Gary Hodgetts says Embraer plans to perform the trials with its 190 development aircraft, MSN001