Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced it has received certification to offer TCAS II 7.1 upgrades for early model Cessna Citation business jets. Available now at company-owned service centers, this upgrade will allow operators of applicable aircraft to comply with European airspace requirements by the end of 2015.
“With the approaching deadline for TCAS compliance in Europe, this certification allows early model Citation operators the ability to upgrade their aircraft directly from the manufacturer,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president, Customer Service. “The upgrades can be completed along with regular maintenance or independently, usually as a simple software change, though some may require new hardware as well.”
Starting on Dec. 1, 2015, all aircraft already equipped with TCAS and weighing more than 5,700 kg will be required to have the version 7.1 software upgrade to the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II) in order to operate in European airspace. Recent model Citations, as well as applicable Beechcraft King Airs and Hawker business jets, already comply or have certified solutions available.
Solutions offered under the new certification are for Citation models CJ2, Citation II/SP, Citation SII, Bravo, V Ultra, Encore, Encore+, Excel, XLS, Citation III, Citation VI, Citation VII, Sovereign, and Citation X.
European Commission rules already require aircraft with an airworthiness certificate issued after Mar. 1, 2012 and with a maximum takeoff weight of 5,700 kg or more, or with seating for 19 passengers to have the TCAS II 7.1 software version installed. For aircraft with airworthiness certificates issued prior to Mar. 1, 2012, the upgrade must be completed by Dec. 1, 2015.
TCAS is an onboard avionics system that provides crew members audio and visual display indications alerting them to the presence of nearby air traffic that may pose a potential collision threat. In addition to Traffic Advisories (TAs), a TCAS II system also provides Resolution Advisories (RAs). The 7.1 upgrade provides greater clarity and real-time changes to the RAs.
Currently no deadline exists for upgrading TCAS II systems with Version 7.1 software for operation in U.S. airspace. Operation within U.S. RVSM airspace currently requires TCAS II-equipped aircraft to have Version 7.0 software or later. In all other regions of the world, ICAO Annex 10 standards specify that TCAS II systems should have Version 7.1 software on new aircraft as of Jan. 1 2014 (forward-fit) and on existing aircraft as of Jan. 1 2017 (retrofit).
Textron Aviation, through its Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands, is renowned for its unrivaled global service network dedicated to complete life-cycle support. Textron Aviation’s business jet and turboprop aircraft product support organization includes a world-wide network of authorized service centers and 21 company-owned facilities with thousands of expert service engineers offering maintenance, inspections, parts, repairs, avionic upgrades, equipment installations, refurbishments, and other specialized services. Textron Aviation also offers a mobile service program featuring more than 60 mobile service units, multiple aircraft, and on-site service technicians and support.