Air Bohemia a.s. has become the first company in the Czech Republic to be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic to operate a Pilatus PC-12 aircraft in commercial mode at night and in degraded meteorological conditions (SET-IMC).
Upon fulfilling some last requirements, Air Bohemia a.s. is planning to start operating PC-12 commercially at the beginning of April 2021. Its AOC is going to include 3 Pilatus PC-12/47E aircraft.
The approval of this type of operation is clearly an important milestone in the development of civil aviation in the Czech Republic. This step comes at a time of significant development of commercial air transport operated by smaller aircraft, which to a certain extent replaces the crisis-affected sector of the world’s biggest airlines and at the same time allows connections between two small airports outside major international hubs. “At Air Bohemia, we are proud to be a part of this new era,” says CEO Ing.Štěpán Matouš.
To explain: Approved commercial operation of single-engine aircraft has been taboo for many years in Europe, especially under IMC/night conditions, i.e. under bad weather conditions and at night, as is common with multi-engine airliners. In 2017, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued new regulations that allow this operation. However, they enable it only if very specific and strict conditions of aircraft equipment and reliability, special crew training, company operating procedures and flight planning are met. The entire system is regularly audited and ensures the same level of operational safety as conventional multi-engine airliners.
“The Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic, which, throughout the approval process, cooperated with us as an air carrier and at the same time with the manufacturer of the Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, also has a great deal of credit for approving this operation,” continues Ing. Matouš. “A few years ago, who could have imagined ordering a completely legal commercial flight with 8 passengers, for example from Olomouc to Zell am See?” he concludes.