The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) this week cleared the ATR 42-600 regional airliner to operate in the country by validating its EASA type certificate. ATR reported the approval at the Zhuhai Airshow on November 8 and simultaneously announced a firm order for three of the 48-seat turboprop twins from an undisclosed Chinese operator.
The European airctraft manufacturer welcomed the CAAC validation, which it said allows it to “reenter” the Chinese air transport market. Aviation Industries of China (AVIC) has faced challenges in bringing its new MA-700 turboprop twin airliner to market following last year’s decision by the Canadian government to refuse an export license for its Pratt & Whitney PW150C engines. The MA-700 would compete with the larger ATR 72, while AVIC’s existing MA-600 is closer in size and performance to the ATR 42.
“By 2035, we anticipate that over 150 airports will be built in China and turboprops will play a key role in creating a new network of short, thin routes, complementing the high-speed train offering,” said Fabrice Vautier, ATR’s senior v-p for commercial. “Our 20-year forecast predicts a need for 280 new turboprops in the region, and ATR is perfectly placed to meet this demand, while also contributing to the decrease in reliance on public subsidies and delivering reduced CO2 emissions.”