Dassault Falcon has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to perform steep approaches with slopes up to 6˚ for the Falcon 7X. This approval allows U.S.-based Falcon 7X operators to fly directly into London City Airport (LCY), Lugano, Switzerland (LUG) and other airports requiring steep approach landings.
“Business aviation is all about the need for efficiency and access to hard to reach places and an airport like London City combines the two,” said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon. “Direct access to this important financial center is sure to benefit our U.S. based Falcon 7X customers, allowing them to be in meetings moments after landing.”
The 5,950 nm Falcon 7X offers more range capability than any other business jet approved for London City Airport. The Falcon 7X can connect business hubs such as New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Cape Town and Tokyo with the heart of London nonstop (eight passengers, M.80, NBAA IFR Reserves).
To operate to and from London City Airport, an aircraft must demonstrate exacting performance in order to approach, land and take-off on the airport’s short runway (4,327 ft/1,319 m at landing and 3,934 ft/1,199 m at take-off). It also has to meet strict environmental standards with respect to aircraft noise. In the case of the Falcon 7X, the noise level was measured in the same category as a much smaller turboprop.
The Falcon 7X was first granted steep approach certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2008 and received full EASA approval for flights into London City in February of this year. Approval by both EASA and the FAA required dedicated flight tests and the development of Noise Abatement Departure Procedures.
In order for an operator to perform a steep approach, the flight crew must undergo one-day of specialized training. A steep approach pilot training curriculum was developed in conjunction with CAE and is currently offered at its Burgess Hill facility in the United Kingdom and will be offered shortly at their Morristown, New Jersey facility in the United States. Dassault is in the process of issuing an amendment to the Aircraft Flight Manual which will outline proper data and procedures for steep approach operations.
Announced at the Paris Air Show in 2001, the Falcon 7X is the first business jet with a digital flight control system and was simultaneously certified by both the EASA and the FAA on April 27, 2007. It features the award-winning EASy Flight Deck and is powered by three Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307A engines. Its 5,950 nm range (eight passengers, M.80 with NBAA IFR reserves) can comfortably connect 95% of the commonly used business aviation city pairs.