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Daytona Beach


Management, Marketing, & Operations

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication/Presentation Date



Recent fuel price volatility and growing concerns about the efficiency of regional jets have led to a revival of large turboprop aircraft as efficient passenger carriers on short-haul regional routes. However, the overall market for smaller turboprops is much less defined as it is characterized by a plethora of small commuter and niche operators in addition to regional carriers. Since most small and mid-size turboprop manufacturers have gone bankrupt or discontinued production due to some other reasons, current operators of this aircraft class are left with aging fleets that would need to be replaced by 2020-2030. This paper assesses the feasibility of developing a new generation small turboprop aircraft for regional and commuter airline markets through a survey of industry participants. A mail-in questionnaire asked the respondents to evaluate the potential market and their companies’ needs for new small turboprops. In addition, the respondents outlined desired characteristics and design features for a new generation small turboprop. The survey respondents’ fleets represent approximately 9% of the global commercial turboprop market in the 20-50 seat class. The results indicate that a market for 20-50 seat turboprops exists, and current operators are looking for performance and design characteristics that their aging fleets cannot provide. The survey data and analysis presented in this paper challenge the forecasts for small turboprop deliveries published by Bombardier and Embraer and estimate that about 8,000 of such aircraft will be needed by 2030.


Bergamo, Italy