Pilatus has set its sights on the European special missions market. In the face of what it sees as dithering on the part art of Europe's Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) to certificate single-engined aircraft for commercial operations, the Swiss company is going it alone. By working with Swiss operator Lions Air it will have SEIFR approval in Switzerland by the end of June.

Pilatus believes Swiss certification is a first step leading to country-by-country certification across Europe. Speaking at the show, Dominik Waser, head of product strategy, general aviation says he finds it difficult to understand European reluctance over commercial single-engine operations. He points to the 600,000-plus flying hours already logged by the PC-12 and the list of "prestigious users" outside Europe. These include in North America, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the US Department of Homeland Security and Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) and in Australia the Royal Flying Doctor Service.


"We've proved the aircraft's operational ability in the US and Australia and proved that single engines are safe in extremely hostile environments. Ultimately certification in Europe is an operator issue but we are committed to working with our customers to support them in this.

"Certification in Europe will be a huge step and opens new markets to us. There are air ambulance operators as well as corporate and commuter users who we want to show the benefits of the PC-12. With certification in Switzerland the resistance of other JAA countries will drop and we start to get some momentum."

Enhanced avionics and a new executive interior are drawing visitors to the PC-12 on the static display. Pilatus has unveiled developments to the cockpit including the addition of Honeywell-built RVSM-capable altimeter (AM250) and integrated hazard avoidance system and a Garmin 530 GPS system. The latter were certified about six months ago. The altimeter is new, as is the aircraft's executive six-seat interior.

Source: Flight Daily News