De Havilland Aircraft of Canada has announced that Transport Canada has confirmed the extension of approvals that permit the conversion of Dash 8 series aircraft into Simplified Package Freighters (SPF) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The approvals now extend to 31 July 2021, which will allow for continued flexibility in the transportation of goods in the framework of the pandemic. The first conversion request, ordered back in May, came from 748 Air Services for its Dash 8 fleet.
“There is an ongoing, fundamental need for the transport of humanitarian aid and cargo; air cargo services therefore continue to be vital for the economy, financial stability of aircraft operators, and for fighting COVID-19,” notes Amod Kelkar, vice president of customer services and support at De Havilland Canada. “We are therefore delighted that Transport Canada has confirmed an extension to the approvals for our Dash 8 series Simplified Package Freighters. Our teams have issued the revised aircraft flight manual supplements to customers who bought this solution and we are working to convert the SPF modifications to permanent Service Bulletins based on the need and the regulatory allowances. Our goal is to stay in close contact with our customers to ensure that their requirements are met during this challenging time and we will provide more updates as we progress further.”
De Havilland Canada's Service Bulletins allow Dash 8-100/200, Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-400 aircraft to be quickly converted into Simplified Package Freighters by the removal of seats and seat track covers in the passenger cabins. The converted Dash 8-100/200, Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-400 aircraft provide total potential cargo capacities of up to 6,500 lb, up to 9,625 lb and up to 17,960 lb respectively.