Soon, you may be flying on board a made-in-India aircraft.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has cleared Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)-manufactured Dornier 228 to be used for civilian flights in regional routes. Till now, the 19-seater aircraft has only been used by defence forces. It will soon be the first plane to be made in the country for commercial flights.
The HAL describes its 19-seater Dornier 228 as “highly versatile multi-purpose light transport aircraft. It has been developed specifically to meet the manifold requirements of utility and commuter transport, third level services and air-taxi operations, coast guard duties and maritime surveillance.” The non-pressurised plane has maximum cruise speed of 428 kmph and a range of 700 km. It is capable of night flying.
HAL’s ‘transport aircraft division’ in Kanpur carries out maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft…. The division has also commenced manufacture of the civil variant of Dornier 228 aircraft,” the HAL website says.
While the DGCA has now allowed Dornier 228 to be used for commercial flights, HAL says it can also be used for “pollution prevention” and “executive transport”.
“Apart from airlines in India, HAL may also look at selling this plane for civil use in neighboring countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka,” the official said.