Bombardier’s Q400 airliner has received certification in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) the largest Western-built turboprop aircraft to receive such approval. The approval was granted on June 7, 2012 by the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), commonly known by its Russian acronym, MAK.
The Type Certificate was presented to Bombardier in a ceremony at IAC headquarters in Moscow. A Q400 NextGen aircraft with its innovative Get More livery was in Moscow during its world demonstration tour. The tour covered 30 countries in North and South America, Africa, Russia and CIS, and the Far East.
“Russia presents a key market for diversifying the use of Q400 and other Dash 8/Q-Series turboprops,” said Sergey Ermolaev, Bombardier’s Chief Country Representative, Russia and CIS. “There is a high potential for non-airline market applications such as cargo, corporate shuttle and business aircraft conversions. Expanding into this region is a key initiative for Bombardier as it aims to establish a long term partnership with the Russian aviation industry.”
The Q400 NextGen turboprop addresses two major environmental issues facing Russian regional aviation: difficult, tundra-like terrain, and the extreme cold weather. Furthermore, on the European side of Russia, 36 airports have their runways paved with concrete, allowing them the infrastructure needed to accommodate passenger flows that are consistently on the rise. On the other side of the Ural mountain chain, it’s another story altogether. Unpaved or grass runways account for 43 per cent of the infrastructure found within the 119 airports serving the region. Add to that the flight distances, typically 400 km to 2,000 km (215 to 1,080 nm) and you find an existing need perfectly suited to the capabilities of Bombardier Aerospace’s flagship turboprop.
Regional airlines in Russia and the CIS can be expected to eventually develop route systems similar to those of Canada’s regional airlines, Air Canada Express and Porter Airlines, which operate the Q400 or the Q400 NextGen aircraft and WestJet which recently placed an order for up to 45 Q400 NextGen aircraft for its new regional airline. Hydro-Québec also operates the aircraft to shuttle employees between Montreal and hydroelectric sites in northern Quebec, further proof of the aircraft’s rugged capability.
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