The European Aviation Safety Agency has granted ATR extended-range twin-engine performance standards (ETOPS) 120 min. certification for the manufacturer’s new -600 series.

The approval means that the ATR42-600 and ATR 72-600 can now fly with one engine inoperative for up to 120 flight minutes from any airport at which they are able to land. This will allow the aircraft to provide direct links between airports located at maximum distances equating to four flight hours – two hours maximum flight time from the departure airport, plus two hours maximum flight time to the closest airport at which to land safely.

The ATR 42 and ATR 72 are currently the only regional turboprop aircraft to hold ETOPS 120 approval, which is important for operating in regions such as French Polynesia or Siberia, where distances between the two closest airports can be up to 2,000km. It will allow carriers to establish more direct flight plans between departure points and final destinations, with consequent reductions in journey times, fuel consumption and emissions.

EASA has also certified ATR -600 models for operations at temperatures down to -45C at take-off and landing, matching earlier ATR variants that are already approved to operate in particularly cold environments such as the far north of Europe, Canada and Siberia.