Saab has warned that operators may have to decide if it is worth investing in a performance recertification programme for the Saab 2000 if it is to continue operating into Lugano airport, Switzerland. This follows the decision by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (OFAC) to steepen the final approach from 4.17° to 6.65° for "safety reasons".

The approach will go live from November 2005, with an intermediate increase at the end of this month to 6°. OFAC says the approach does not conform to international safety standards, although Saab says the 2000 has been operating into Lugano for nine years without incident. OFAC wants the 6.65° final because it reduces the angle of intermediate descent from 11.85° to 7.2°, which the authority says meets international safety norms. But it has rejected a flight profile put forward by Saab for its 2000 that would give a 5.5° final approach.

Lugano-based start-up Darwin Airlines, which plans to start flying 2000s this month, is working with Saab to find an alternative approach procedure acceptable to the OFAC. If unsuccessful, a recertification programme will be required.

Source: Flight International