Embraer E190-E2 Receives London City Approval

British Airways Cityflyer Embraer E190
Credit: Alan Dron

LONDON—Embraer has received EASA certification for the E190-E2 regional jet to operate into London City Airport (LCY), a major European business hub.  

The Brazilian OEM on June 3 described the news as an important milestone for the E2 program, with the E190-E2 being the first of the three-member E2 family to have received LCY certification. The larger E195-E2 is scheduled to be certificated for LCY in 2022.

There are tall buildings a couple of miles from LCY’s western runway threshold. These require a 5.5 deg. approach, almost double the standard 3 deg. descent rate. The proximity of housing to the airport also means that aircraft must abide by strict noise regulations.

Embraer said that in certification testing, EASA figures confirmed the E190-E2 to have the lowest noise levels among all new-generation single-aisle aircraft and that it will be the only jet operating at LCY to ICAO’s Chapter 14 noise regulations. The OEM added that new aircraft’s wings, engines, and systems make the aircraft “significantly quieter” than the first-generation E190. For communities around LCY this means the E190-E2 noise footprint at takeoff is 63% smaller than current E190s operating from the airport. 

E190-E2 landings at LCY are enabled using a special software upgrade and the installation of a “Steep Approach” switch on the cockpit control panel.

LCY’s COO Alison FitzGerald said that the E2 would make its operational debut this summer at the airport, which is undergoing a major expansion program. “Our investment in eight new Code-C aircraft stands was made with this aircraft in mind. And it’s a game changer for London City as it will be able to handle more passengers, offer an expanded range and do all of this whilst being quieter and more fuel efficient,” FitzGerald said.

“Embraer aircraft represent 70% of aircraft movements at this airport, in the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities,” Embraer Commercial Aviation VP EMEA Cesar Pereira said. “We look forward to E190-E2s joining the Embraer jets already flying from London City with BA CityFlyer, KLM Cityhopper, LOT, Alitalia, and Portugalia.”

The E190-E2 is 17% more efficient than its predecessor in fuel burn and emissions, while also providing improved performance. The E190-E2 allows for the range from LCY to nearly double to more than 4,000 km (2,160 nm), bringing destinations such as Casablanca, Istanbul and Moscow into range.

Due to the cockpit commonality between the E190 and the E190-E2, pilots already cleared for LCY operation will not require simulator-based steep approach training. 

LCY lies less than two miles from the London’s Docklands financial district and has long been a favored access point for the capital’s executives. In recent years increasing levels of short-haul leisure traffic have taken LCY traffic to a roughly 50-50 split with business passengers.


Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.