Swiss manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft has established a permanent base at Jeffco Airport in Broomfield, Colorado, for the US sales and support of its PC-12 single turboprop.

In addition to marketing and maintenance work, the company plans to begin interior-completion work at Jeffco in January 1997, and avionics fitments later in the year. A decision on whether to introduce final-assembly work will be taken at the end of the year. Pilatus claims to have total sales of 62 PC-12s worldwide, with over 40 to customers in North America.

One of the prime US customers is Alpha Flying of Norwood, Massachusetts, which introduced a timeshare scheme for PC-12 owners at the beginning of 1996, under the name "PlaneSense". The company operates two aircraft on a quarter-share basis, and has options on three more aircraft.

Although Pilatus does not provide direct sponsorship of PlaneSense, Alpha president George Antoniadis says that the two companies enjoy a "strategic-alliance" arrangement, which allows for "certain concessions" in the area of support and maintenance

Charter airline Kelner Airways of Goose Bay, Canada has ordered three PC-12s, and will become the first North American operator to use the aircraft under new commercial single-engine instrument-flight-rules regulations.

Source: Flight International