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ATR Secures Australian Certification on 70-Seater 72-500

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ATR Regional Aircraft has secured type certification from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia for operators to introduce the 70 seater ATR 72-500 aircraft into the country.

The approval from the national air safety regulator means that the ATR 72-500 complies with the country’s stringent air safety standards, and is approved for operation and ready to fly in Australian skies.

The certification of the aircraft – technically classified as the ATR 72-212A – complements that already obtained in 2007 for the 50-seat ATR42 models.

The ATR 72-500 provides a cost-effective fleet solution for both scheduled and charter airlines in Australia seeking to replace or upgrade current turboprop aircraft such as Saab 340s, Bombardier Dash 8s, Embraer Brasilias or Fokker 50s, or to scale down from older, more expensive regional jets.

“We’re delighted to have secured regulatory approval for the ATR 72-500 in Australia,” said Laurent Negre, Sales Director, Australia and South Pacific. “By completing the certification process, we are now able to offer not only a real family of aircraft with maximum flexibility but also a streamlined entry into service for Australian operators.”

Mr Negre said the ATR 72-500 was ideally suited to operations in a wide variety of climates, with more than 220 of the type already flying with 43 operators worldwide.

“These aircraft already operate very successfully in diverse markets ranging from alpine New Zealand to the tropical Pacific Islands and the steamy conditions of South East Asia, and more ATR 72-500s are currently on order for carriers in neighbouring markets including Indonesia, French Polynesia and Vanuatu,” said Mr Negre.

“In Australia, we believe the ATR 72-500 is also particularly well-suited to carriers serving the resources industry with Fly In – Fly Out services to remote mine sites or scheduled flights to other challenging destinations,” he said.

“Anticipating this use we have certificated the aircraft models using the high performance Pratt and Whitney Canada PW 127 engines, designed specifically for short runways and so-called hot and high airfield operations, which are very common in regional and outback Australia.”

The smaller ATR 42-500 has already proven to be very successful in operations to remote mines in north-western Queensland, and the transition to an ATR 72-500 in Australia is considered by the manufacturer to be a natural progression.

“The ATR 72-500 offers the lowest seat-mile cost in its class, with direct operating costs some 18% lower than those of the direct competitor, Bombardier’s Dash 8-Q400, and close to 50% better than a typical 70-seat regional jet,” said Mr Negre. “Over a 200 nautical mile sector, the ATR 72-500 is even 16% more fuel efficient than a typical European car.”

The ATR 72-500 is one of the most spacious and comfortable aircraft of its type, seating passengers in a 2 x 2 configuration, meaning everybody has either a window or an aisle seat. It also provides large overhead storage bins for further convenience, and a low noise cabin environment for enhanced passenger comfort.

In addition, the ATR 72-500 shares a common type rating with the smaller ATR42-500 for both flight crews and mechanics ensuring maximum efficiency and savings for operators of both models. 

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