The European Joint Aviation Authorities is establishing a new working group to discuss the formal introduction throughout the continent of single-engined turbine commercial passenger and cargo operations at night and in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).

The committee will study the results of the consultation on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Amendment (ANPA), gathered nearly two years ago to gauge the views of key industry representatives, including operators, aviation authorities and single-engined turboprop manufacturers, including Cessna, Pilatus and Socata.

"Of the 14 JAA authorities which responded to the ANPA, 13 were supportive and only the UK Civil Aviation Authority was opposed," says the Single Engine Turbine Alliance (SETA), a pressure group established in 1998 to reduce restrictions on single- engined commercial IMC operations in Europe.

National regulations in France, Ireland and Scandinavia already permit commercial single-engined IMC operations. Based on the industry's "good safety record", the approval should be extended across the region, SETA believes.

Commercial operators in Europe believe the aviation authorities "have for too long denied them the opportunity to operate proven, modern single-engined turbines," adds SETA.

The association believes the working group will focus initially on single-engined night/IMC cargo operations "looking at passenger operations when it is tactically right to do so".

The amendments to the ANPA should be incorporated into an NPA by the end of the year. They will then be submitted to the industry for final consultation.

Source: Flight International