Friday, December 29, 2017

Made in India aircraft to soon fly civilians

New Delhi: The latest entrant in the country’s fleet of commercial flights is going to be a ‘made in India’ aircraft. Manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the use of Dornier 228 for civilian flights in regional routes has been approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Used only by the defence forces until now, the 19-seater aircraft will be the first plane to be made in the country for commercial flights.

Described as “highly versatile multi-purpose light transport aircraft” by HAL, the aircraft has been developed to meet the multiple requirements of utility and commuter transport, third level services and air-taxi operations, coast guard duties and maritime surveillance.

A non-pressurised plane, the Dornier 228 has a maximum cruise speed of 428 kmph and a range of 700 km. It is also capable of night flying.

The plane, after DGCA’s certification, can now be sold to airlines in India and also be used under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UDAN scheme.

UDAN or Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik aims at providing air connectivity to currently underserved and unserved airports in the country.

“Some special incentives may be given to operators using this plane,” a senior official told the Indian press.

“Apart from airlines in India, HAL may also look at selling this plane for civil use in neighbouring countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka,” the official commented.
29/12/17 Surbhi Kapila/Media India Group