Guernsey-based airline Aurigny and turboprop manufacturer ATR today announced the signature of a Letter of Intent for the purchase of three ATR 72-600s, subject to the approval of the States of Guernsey.
These three aircraft are expected to replace the current three ATR 72-500s operated by the airline.
These new ATR -600s will feature the new ClearVision™ Enhanced Vision System (EVS), which uses an external camera to display an augmented outside-view in real-time to a head-mounted visor, worn by the pilot. The EVS significantly improves a pilot’s vision and as Guernsey is situated in the English Channel it is regularly affected by fog, often at short notice, leading to disruptions to flight operations. An ATR equipped with the ClearVision™ EVS addresses this pain point of the pilot’s limited visibility and could have saved 50% of the forbidden landings (24 of 48) in Guernsey, over the period of a year. Aurigny anticipates that this innovation will deliver significant savings in their future operations.
ClearVision™ is an option on ATR’s latest avionics suite, Standard 3, which delivers important operational improvements. In addition to the EVS selected by Aurigny, ClearVision™ also offers a Synthetic Vision System (SVS) that provides the pilot’s Head-Up Display with digital images of terrain and obstacles, from an extensive database. Operators can also opt for a Combined Vision System (CVS), combining the EVS and SVS, and offering pilots the best possible vision and situational awareness.
ATR anticipates that in the next 20 years, there will be a need for over 3000 turboprops while regional air traffic will grow 4.5% on a yearly basis. A significant proportion of this growth will come from route creation, with 30% of the traffic growth coming from routes that do not currently exist. ATR aircraft are proven route openers, with the -600 series aircraft opening over 100 routes a year on average.
Aurigny Chief Executive Officer, Mark Darby, said: “Once we have the approval from the States of Guernsey to proceed, the entry into service of the new aircraft equipped with the new ClearVision™ system will reduce flight disruptions, which will be very good news for the people of Guernsey, who rely on air travel for essential connectivity. Beyond beating the fog, upgrading to the -600 series will also further enhance the operational efficiency of Aurigny. We are also excited about welcoming our passengers into the modern ATR cabin and offering them even more comfort when they fly.”
ATR Chief Executive, Christian Scherer, remarked: “Aurigny’s pioneering use of ClearVision™ will be a first in commercial aviation, here in Europe. Being the first to offer such a solution to our clients and operators demonstrates ATR’s constant desire to match their needs. In the regional aviation market, many airlines fly in challenging locations and ClearVision™ offers an opportunity to give pilots increased visibility and improved situational awareness without requiring expensive upgrades to an airport’s infrastructure – which in many occasions may even be completely unfeasible.”