Saturday, December 23, 2017

Advantage UDAN, as ‘civilian’ Dornier takes off

New Delhi: On Friday, a Dornier 228 aircraft, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, took off from Kanpur heading to Nashik. The first civilian aircraft to be produced and certified in India, this Dornier is now available for commerical sale and could end up giving a lift to the ‘Make in India’ programme as also the Centre’s regional connectivity scheme called UDAN for Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik.

Till date, state-owned HAL has only produced Dorniers for use by the military. However, with the Directorate-Geberal for Civil Aviation giving Dornier 228 a ‘type certification’, it can be used for operations by civilian airlines.

Confirming the development, a senior HAL official told BusinessLine that the ‘type certification’ was approved by the DGCA in the last few days.

Such a certification implies means that the DGCA approves the technical and performance specifications of the civilian Dornier aircraft produced by HAL.

“The certification means that the product complies with the various regulations of the aviation regulator and has been approved for operations with an Indian registration,” the official said.

The 19-seater aircraft can fly up to 700 km on full load and is capable of flying at night. This is a non-pressurised aircraft and is ideal for regional flights. It is a multi-purpose aircraft which can be used to ferry VVIPs, business people to their plants, and also be used as an air ambulance, said HAL officials.

Officials said the aircraft’s operational capability was better than its competitors such as the Twin Otter, M-28 and the LET 410. Also, it had the advantage of being fitted with a toilet.
22/12/17 Ashwini Phadnis/Business Line