Made in India aircraft to soon fly civilians

A defence force plane to boost regional connectivity

Aviation

December 29, 2017

/ By / New Delhi



hal

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) manufactured Dornier 228, which was used only by the defence forces until now shall soon carry civil passengers, also boosting schemes like UDAN.

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.

While the DGCA has now allowed Dornier 228 to be used for commercial flights, HAL says it can also be used for pollution prevention, maritime surveillance, troop transport, aerial survey, search and rescue, commuter transport, remote sensing applications, causality evacuation, cargo and logistics support.

After the deployment of the aircraft, flyers headed to small cities in the country will be able to fly in this craft that is being looked at improving regional connectivity.

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