Embraer’s 37-seat ERJ-135 regional jet last month won JAA approval to fly the steep approach into London City Airport. The certification marks Embraer’s first successful bid to approve an airplane for operation into the downtown airfield, where noise restrictions limit access to aircraft and pilots capable of demonstrating safe execution of its 5.5-degree glideslope.
Contrary to the lengthier and more complicated approval process the new 70-seat Embraer 170 continues to undergo, LCY certification proved a fairly straightforward exercise for the ERJ-135, involving no structural changes and a reprogramming of the airplane’s GPWS and FADEC systems. The test campaign started in April, and included development and certification flights at São José dos Campos, Brazil, Blythe, Calif., and Coventry, England. The campaign came to a close after confirmation flights at London City in September.
Immediately following JAA approval, Irish regional airline Jetmagic became the first airline to fly the ERJ-135 into London City, having reserved Irish registration for an undelivered ERJ-135LR previously earmarked for Morocco’s Regional Air Lines Maroc. The airline, which also flies a pair of 50-seat ERJ-145s, serves LCY from its base in Cork, Ireland, three times each weekday except Tuesdays, when it flies a pair of round trips. It also operates a single round trip to LCY on Saturdays and Sundays.