A change in regulations is forcing Swiss to suspend Avro RJ operations from Lugano airport in southern Switzerland. Lugano’s position in a mountain valley calls for a steep approach. Last 1 November, however, the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) issued revised approach procedures which rule out operations by many of the types that have been using the airport, including the BAe 146 and Avro RJ. A temporary reprieve allowed operations by RJ85s and SAAB 2000s to continue for a time, using special visual flight rules procedures. The reprieve was set to expire on 1 June, however. Cutbacks have meant that Lugano flights have generally been operated by SAAB 2000s in recent years, but Avro RJs occasionally complemented them. Swiss has contracted for Cirrus Airlines to operate its scheduled flights to Lugano using a Dash 8-300. Cirrus took over the flights on 1 April.
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