Tecnam has begun production of the second P2012 with an eye on a 2018 certification, says launch customer Cape Air.
The first 11-seat P2012 made its maiden flight in July 2016 with formal order negotiations with the Hyannis, Massachusetts-based regional carrier beginning that November.
Cape Air will begin price negotiations with Tecnam in the next several months, says James Goddard, vice-president of fleet planning at the airline, on the sidelines of the ISTAT Americas conference in San Diego. He adds that the aircraft is on track for US Federal Aviation Administration certification in late 2018 and first delivery in early 2019.
The regional airline plans to replace its ageing fleet of more than 80 nine-seat Cessna 402s and Britten-Norman Islanders with the P2012.
However, Goddard says the final number of aircraft is not fixed due to the “pilot situation”, referring to the staffing shortage US regional carriers face.
Regional airlines have felt staffing pressures since regulators changed pilot qualification rules in 2013, increasing the requisite number of flight hours to 1,500h from 250h for an airline transport pilot certificate.