Toronto - The ATR 72-500 has just been certified by Transport Canada, the Canadian airworthiness authority.

ATR 72-500 can fly in extreme weather conditions such as cold or ice, takeoffs and landings on short runways.

Announced by ATR today, on November 28th, this certification opens the way for the operation of ATR 72-500s in cargo or passenger configuration by Canadian airline and cargo operators.

"Obtaining this certification will allow us to extend the operational reach of our aircraft," Alessandro Amendola said in a statement, the director of Engineering at ATR. Once again, the ATRs have proven to be ideally suited to demanding markets like Canada, where they can fly in extreme weather conditions such as cold or ice, takeoffs and landings on short runways. The unbeatable performance of ATR series is invaluable," he added.

"ATR is firmly committed to meeting the different needs of its operators around the world. Today, approximately 40 ATRs operate in Canada, providing cargo or passenger services to remote or isolated communities. The ATR 72-500 will open new avenues for both passenger and cargo air services," said the Airbus and Leonardo joint venture.

The Canadian carrier "First Air" has already been operating the 50-seat version of the same series, the ATR 42-500, for several years in northern Canada.