Air Capital Insider

Throwback Thursday: FAA denied bid for Caravan IFR passenger flights

A Cessna Grand Caravan.
A Cessna Grand Caravan. Courtesy photo

It was 32 years ago this week that the Federal Aviation Administration denied Cessna’s request to use its single-turboprop-engine Caravan for passenger operations in instrument flying conditions.

According to a Jan. 3, 1985 story in The Eagle, Cessna had asked the FAA to exempt the Caravan from a regulation that says paying passengers cannot be carried by a single-engine aircraft operating under instrument flight rules.

“We obviously thought it would open up additional markets for the airplane,” then-Cessna spokesman Dean Humphrey said in the story.

Fast forward to 2017 and that’s no longer an issue in the U.S. for the utility turboprop, which is now used for commercial passenger operations, including in Hawaii and Alaska.

In 2015, Cessna marked delivery of its 2,500th Caravan, which was first delivered in 1985. In fact, that Cessna Grand Caravan EX was delivered to Alaska-based Bering Air, a regional passenger airline.