Centreline is under contract to operate an Envoy IV for the MoD and provide a military air transportation capability. Initial operating capability was achieved on 1 June with introduction to service of one aircraft. Achievement of full service capability (FSC) is a further significant milestone in the Envoy IV project and now provides the MoD with two Falcon 900LX based at RAF Northolt and operated under Centreline’s commercial AOC.
Achieving FSC in the tightest of timelines is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and excellent collaboration between Centreline staff, the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) project team and RAF Northolt personnel, including 32 (TR) Squadron. The contract was signed in February, with Centreline responsible for a turnkey solution including the aircraft acquisition process, the delivery to Bristol and an intense period of CAA validation and crew training to add this new type to Centreline’s AOC.
COO Gus Paterson says: “Getting this new aircraft type into service and onto Centreline’s AOC has drawn on our broad business jet management experience but with the extra nuances of a new operating base, collaboration with DE&S and training of RAF pilots. It is immensely satisfying to reach FSC and my thanks go to all involved; MOD, Centreline staff and the RAF.”
CEO Steve Page says: “I am very proud of the way the Centreline team has stepped up to the challenge of achieving FSC in such a short timescale. I am also immensely grateful to the DE&S and RAF personnel who have worked so hard alongside us to make this happen. We look forward to working closely together for the duration of the contract.”
With a new operating and engineering base at RAF Northolt, Centreline has successfully met all the MoD’s tasking requirements with one aircraft since interim operating capability. With two aircraft now in service and FSC declared, the company will build on that success.
Centreline CSAT contract delivery manager Adam Lunn says: “Successful delivery of the contract for the past two months under IOC has been an achievement in itself. Declaration of FSC is another fantastic milestone in the project and could not have happened without the excellent support of DE&S, RAF and Centreline expertise.”
In March 2022, Centreline said it would initially operate the aircraft with mixed civilian and RAF crews on missions to transport senior defence and government officials and occasionally members of the Royal Family. The aircraft were acquired under a £80m contract to replace four BAe 146 aircraft, and are upgraded with military modifications such as defensive aid suites and military communications to deliver full capability and be crewed by purely RAF personnel.