Made-In-India Dornier 228 Civilian Plane Set To Take Flight In May

PROBENEWS: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)-manufactured Dornier 228 to be used for civilian flights. The 19-seater aircraft has, till now, been used by defence forces and is the first plane to be made in the country for commercial flights. The DGCA has given type certification to this aircraft and also given certificate of airworthiness to HAL’s Dornier 228. Now, HAL can sell this plane to airlines in India and it can be used by them for regional flights under the Modi’s government’s ambitious UDAN scheme, a senior aviation official said. Some special incentives may be given to operators using this plane. Apart from airlines in India, the official added. HAL may also look at selling this plane for civil use in neighbouring countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka, the official said. 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 successfully carried out test flights of this plane at Kanpur airport this month after which DGCA gave the required nod for it to be used in civil side. HAL has a transport aircraft division in Kanpur since 1960. It has core competence in manufacture, maintenance, modification and upgrade of light transport aircraft and trainer aircraft for both domestic and international markets. The division also 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”.

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