AVRO INTERNATIONAL Aerospace is working to boost the RJ100's payload capacity for operations at London City Airport, by introducing a new 33° flap setting for take-off, and reducing airframe weight.

The work is being carried out to enable Crossair to operate its recently ordered RJ100s into the airport after deliveries begin in October. The Swiss regional carrier would be the first to operate the RJ100 at London City.

While the RJ100, the largest member of Avro's family of regional jets, has the necessary performance to use the airport, airlines are facing payload restrictions because of the International Civil Aviation Organisation's classification of London City as a "Category 2C" airfield. This classification artificially limits the maximum take-off weight of the aircraft, and therefore payload, according to Andre Dos, Crossair vice-president for flight operations.

"It's a paper certification problem," says Dos,. "We're restricted in payload because of the artificial [maximum] all-up weight."

Avro has conducted a series of flight trials to prove the ability of the RJ100 to operate into London City, and says that UK Civil Aviation Authority approval is expected "later this year". Avro claims that the new flap setting, which is subject to CAA approval, will allow a 1,000kg increase in the artificial maximum take-off weight, and hence payload, under the regulations for Cat 2C airports.

The CAA says that Avro's application is being evaluated, and plans an RJ100 test flight into London City.

Source: Flight International