The latest Airbus ACJ319 is making its world airshow debut on the EBACE static display. Operated by Swiss-based business aviation services company Comlux (Stand 227), the aircraft can carry 19 passengers and features a cabin by the group’s outfitting arm Comlux America (see page 42).
“It is the first in our 318/319/320 family to offer a bedroom that can convert into an office,” explained François Chazelle, Airbus Corporate Jets v-p commercial. “All of our products offer the possibility to convert an office to a bedroom, but this is a new move.”
Airbus is also announcing good news for operators in Europe, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and China. The OEM has gained approval for Part 135 operations in those jurisdictions for the ACJ318 and ACJ319, as well as approval for a variant of the ACJ319 in China. Previously, operators had to undergo a more onerous approval process, such as Part 121, which is similar to that required of airlines.
Although operators still have to apply for a Part 135 certificate, the aircraft they use have to be compliant with the regulations. However, the simpler requirements of U.S. Federal Airworthiness Regulation Part 135 recognize that business jets typically carry fewer passengers, fly less frequently and operate in a less demanding environment. The new stipulations state that the aircraft, and have a payload no greater than 7,500 pounds (3,400 kg).
In addition to the new approvals, Airbus is enhancing the entire ACJ family. From 2012 the airframer will offer “sharklets” as a winglet option on its airliner variants, with runway overrun protection and on-board airport navigation systems coming in 2013.
“Offerings for the corporate types will follow shortly afterward,” added Chazelle. “The new software addresses some of the most common causes of accidents, such as runway overruns. Pilots also tell us that navigating around airports can be one of the most challenging parts of their jobs.”