Commercial Single-Engine Turbine IFR Operations Approved in Europe

After decades of debate and study, the European Union approves a type of operation commonplace in most other parts of the world.

Cessna Caravan
Commercial operations using single-engine turbine airplanes like the Cessna Caravan can now fly at night or in instrument meteorological conditions in Europe.Textron Aviation

The European Union at long last has approved commercial operations using single-engine turbine airplanes at night or in instrument meteorological conditions in Europe. The operations take effect today with publication in the EU’s Official Journal.

The publication of the new rules marks the the culmination of a 20-year effort by industry and regulators as Europe is now aligned with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) standards for commercial turbine aircraft operations.

General aviation groups applauded passage of the new rules, saying they will open up markets across Europe and contribute economically by allowing, for example, overnight cargo deliveries using airplanes like the Cessna Caravan.

“The EU’s acceptance of CAT operations has been a long-awaited moment for general aviation,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “We are very pleased to see Europe joining other regions in permitting this important form of transport.”

Work on a regulatory framework for single-engine commercial operations began in the early 1990s. Common around the world, such operations are based on ICAO standards issued in 2005. GAMA, and several of the association’s members, participated in a rulemaking group created by EASA in 2012 to help develop the agency’s regulatory framework.