Airbus Corporate Jets Gain Approval For Part 135 Operations


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Airbus Corporate Jets Gain Approval For Part 135 Operations

By Daniel Baxter

May 19, 2012 - Airbus’ ACJ318 and ACJ319 have gained EASA, FAA and GACA eligibility for Part 135 operations, while a variant of its ACJ319 has also gained CAAC eligibility, making it easier for operators to seek and obtain approval to carry fare-paying charter passengers. 

Operators previously had to undergo a more demanding approval process, such as Part 121, which is similar to the more comprehensive approval required of an airline.

The simpler requirements of Federal Airworthiness Regulation (FAR) Part 135 recognize that business jet operators typically carry fewer passengers, fly less frequently and operate in a less demanding environment. 

While it is the operator that seeks and obtains Part 135 approval, the aircraft involved need to comply with several requirements, and it is this eligibility that has been granted to the Airbus corporate jets. These requirements include that the Airbus corporate jets and their cabins be certificated for public transport, that the number of seats certificated for taxi, take-off and landing be less than 30, and that the payload be limited to 7,500 LBS. 

Most countries in the world are either closely linked with, or follow, the regulations of either EASA or the FAA, while China’s are based on rules drawn from both authorities. In addition to simplifying operator approval, and depending on the country, Part 135 may also bring benefits for the operator in how the aircraft are taxed and insured, as well as simplifying operational procedures. 

Around 15 operators already offer some 15 Airbus ACJ318s, ACJ319s and ACJ320s for VVIP charter, highlighting their popularity at the top end of the market. These Airbus corporate jets feature the widest and tallest cabins of any corporate jet, while being similar in size externally to traditional large business jets, and are the new top-end of the market. The A318 Elite is based on the passenger A318. The smallest of the ACJ family, it is offered in passenger configurations between 14 and 18 passengers with a range of 4,050 nautical miles. 

The Airbus ACJ319 is the corporate jet version of the A319. It incorporates removable extra fuel tanks which are installed in the cargo compartment, and an increased service ceiling of 12,000 m giving a range of 6,500 nautical miles. Upon resale the aircraft can be reconfigured as a standard A319 by removing its extra tanks, thus maximizing its resale value.

The aircraft seats between 19 and 50 passengers but may be outfitted by the customers into any configuration. DC Aviation, UB Group and Reliance Industries are among its users. The A319CJ competes with the Boeing BBJ1, Gulfstream G550, and Bombardier Global Express. Because of its wider fuselage diameter, it offers a roomier interior than its competitors. It is powered by the same engine types as the A320, either the CFM International CFM56-5 or the V2527.

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