The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has provided validation of the type certificate for the ATR 42-600 regional turboprop.  

According to the manufacturer, the approval opens the opportunity for the planemaker to re-enter the Chinese market with a firm order from an undisclosed customer for three planes of the type.  

“The most sustainable option for regional air travel, the ATR 42-600 is an ideal route opener for China, a vast country looking to grow essential connections profitably and responsibly,” ATR said in a statement released on November 8, 2022.  

“By 2035, we anticipate that over 150 airports will be built in China and turboprops will play a key role in creating a new network of short, thin routes, complementing the high-speed train offering,” ATR’s senior vice-president commercial Fabrice Vautier said.  

The ATR turboprops have proven popular among airline carriers with over 200 operators across the globe. 

Vautier also said that the company’s 20-year forecast “predicts a need for 280 new turboprops” to be introduced in the region.  

Launched in 2007, the ATR 42-600 turboprop features the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127XT-M engine. The engine provides at least 5% additional thrust, improving performance on short runways, in hot weather, and at high altitudes, according to the manufacturer.   

ATR anticipates the 42-600 will provide an “eco-responsible” alternative to jets for China and contribute “to decreasing the reliance on public subsidies and delivering reduced CO2 emissions”. 

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