India's Hindustan Aeronautics limited (HAL) has considered launching the civilian version of Dornier 228 short take-off and landing aircraft by June 2017.
The made-in-Indian civilian aircraft Dornier 228 is a 19-seater, aircraft. It is undergoing modifications at HAL’s Kanpur unit, The Hindu Business Line reported Thursday.
The civilian version, which will have the same body structure as the military aircraft, will entail some modifications. The move is major boost Centre’s Make in India programme and its Regional Connectivity Scheme.
“The civil Dornier 228 produced by HAL will have more maximum take-off weight due to an increase in fuel to be carried. It will be equipped with more powerful engine, propeller blades made with composite material that will make them quieter, and a glass cockpit,” a senior government official said.
The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), whose officials are monitoring the progress, will have to certify these modifications.
The Dornier 228 was also used by Vayudoot, the now-defunct state-owned regional airline that connected more than 100 small airports in the country between 1980 and 1990. Air India has stated that it could initially acquire at least 10 such aircraft to operate regional routes.
Pawan Hans, the state-owned helicopter company, which plans to diversify into fixed-wing aircraft operations, is found to be keen on acquiring the Dornier aircraft. The Regional Connectivity Scheme, a key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy, was unveiled in June.
The scheme that run for 10 years, envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports through revival of existing airstrips and airports.
This will be achieved through a financial stimulus in the form of Central as well as State government concessions as well as Viability Gap Funding for airlines to operate from such airports so that fares are affordable.