The first Pilatus PC-24 with a higher-density, 10-seat configuration was delivered to a “customer in the western United States” late last month, according to the Swiss aircraft manufacturer. According to FlightAware records, the twinjet—registered as N777NX—went to the Nevada Department of Transportation for executive transport, though Pilatus Aircraft would not confirm this, citing the customer’s request for confidentiality.
Pilatus received FAA certification for the 10-seat “commuter category” configuration on December 7, according to the PC-24’s latest type certificate data sheet. Seat pitch in the commuter configuration varies from 34 to 40 inches. Each seat features a quick-release mechanism to permit easy cabin reconfiguration, as well as a side storage compartment and cupholder.
“All of us at Pilatus are pleased to hand over this new PC-24 in the 10-seat commuter configuration,” said Pilatus v-p of general aviation Ignaz Gretener. “The PC-24 is the only aircraft in its category to offer this level of high-capacity interior for 10 passengers. All seats are forward-facing, and internal cargo space of more than 50 cubic feet remains accessible in flight. We expect this configuration will prove very popular with both public and private operators requiring a cost-effective solution for frequent transportation of passengers as an alternative to sending them on the airlines.”
It was that cost-effectiveness that attracted the Nevada DOT toward the higher-density-configured PC-24 to replace its nearly 40-year-old Cessna Citation II. According to a June 2019 justification for acquisition, the Pilatus jet is projected to save $326,000 per fiscal year, a 51 percent savings, over the Citation. In addition, it said, the PC-24’s per-passenger cost would offer 56 percent savings over that to use Southwest Airlines.