The European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) has approved an increase in Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW) of up to four tonnes for BAe 146s and Avro RJs operating from an unpaved runway at Kambalda, in Western Australia. Hitherto, MTOW had been limited when operating from unpaved runways due to the potential for increased structural stress. BAE Systems, working in collaboration with Cobham Aviation Services, used a BAe 146-100 fitted with accelerometers to demonstrate that there was no significant difference in G forces when operating on Kambalda’s unpaved runway compared to Perth’s paved runway. The method could now be used to obtain MTOW increases when operating from other unpaved runways as well, on a case-by-case basis. A four-tonne increase in MTOW would enable Cobham to serve more distant strips — increasing range by about 700 nautical miles — or to carry larger payloads — up to 40 more passengers — into strips it currently serves.
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