Textron Aviation's Chinese joint venture, Cessna-AVIC Aircraft, has received an order from the China Flight Inspection Center (CFIC) for eight Citation XLS+ business jets, as part of the operator's fleet expansion plan.
Deliveries of the superlight twin are scheduled to begin this year, says Textron Aviation and will be used by the CFIC – a division of the Civil Aviation Administration of China – to inspect and validate the communication, navigation and radar equipment of the country's rapidly expanding airport network.
The Chinese government's latest five-year plan for developing civil aviation, covering the 2016-2020 period, includes completion of 30 new airports, Textron Aviation says.
Cirium's Fleets Analyzer records the CFIC's inventory as comprising eight XLS – the predecessor to the XLS+; three midsize Sovereigns; a high-speed Citation X; a large-cabin Gulfstream G450 and three Beechcraft King Air 350 twin-engined turboprops.
Textron Aviation says the latest model "will facilitate the expansion of the CFIC fleet and its ability to respond to highly challenging missions throughout the region".
The XLS family is approved by the CAAC to operate at field elevations of up to 15,000ft, giving the CFIC access to the country’s most challenging landing sites. This includes Tibet's Qamdo Bangda airport, which, at an altitude of 14,200ft, is the world's highest hub.
"The XLS+ is ideally suited for this mission due to its excellent high-elevation performance, ability to operate in severe weather and harsh environments and economical operating costs," says Textron Aviation.