As of Dec. 13, we tracked air charter operators to see how many of them were approved to fly passengers on Eclipse 500 very light jets. In doing so, we checked operators´ D085s, a document issued by the Federal Aviation Administration that approves commercial use of such aircraft.
Boca Raton, Fla.-based, DayJet Services LLC (air carrier certificate WGEA500K) dba DayJet Services and Wingedfoot Services, has the largest fleet of Eclipse VLJs in the world. As of Dec 20, DayJet´s D085 listed 26 Eclipse jets and one Learjet 60. DayJet was the first charter operator to receive FAA certification to operate Eclipse VLJs commercially.
With its membership program, the operator´s per-seat, on-demand service offers a network of 28 new destinations across Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The service, however, is good when a passenger begins or ends their travel at one the company´s five DayPort communities--Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola or Tallahassee. With an order for 1,400 Eclipse jets, the world is watching DayJet and waiting for it to take off across the country.
In order for DayJet to spread its wings across the nation--someday--first the aircraft manufacturer needs to ramp up production to four aircraft a day, obtain certification for flight into known icing, obtain certification for its next-generation avionics and fix its management and financing woes.
North American Jet Charter Group LLC (cert. # CJ6A959H), with its primary operation at Chicago Executive Airport (PWK), was the first operator to fly two passengers on its managed Eclipse VLJ. Today, the operator has two Eclipse jets and various other aircraft, tallying seven aircraft on its D085 approved for on-demand air charter.
The newest kid on the block to operate an Eclipse jet is AirDialog, LLC (cert. #L41A034L) dba Linear Air. The operator added its five-place VLJ to its D085 on Nov. 14. However, as of Dec. 20, the jet [tail number N15ND] isn´t yet certified for reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM). Without RVSM certification, the aircraft can´t fly above 29,000 feet.
Based at Laurence G. Hanscom Field (BED) in Bedford, Mass., Linear Air´s DO85 currently lists six eight-passenger Cessna Caravans and the one Eclipse. The company said it has taken delivery of a second Eclipse jet, which will undergo FAA conformity in the following weeks. It´s likely that the operator will seek RVSM certification after its second VLJ passes conformity and is listed on its D085. The operator has been very successful providing point-to-point air charter with its executive-configured Caravans.
According to the FAA, the goal of RVSM is to reduce the vertical separation of planes above 29,000 feet from the current 2,000-foot minimum to a 1,000-foot minimum. The FAA contends this will allow aircraft to safely fly more optimum profiles, gain fuel savings and increase airspace capacity.