SP's Airbuz - - News Briefs -

Ea­ger to boost air con­nec­tiv­ity through up­graded small air­ports, In­dia has pro­posed to re­vive three pas­sen­ger air­craft projects: the 14-seater Saras, the 70-seater re­gional trans­port air­craft (RTA-70) and the fiveseater NM-5. The pri­mary ob­jec­tive is to fly these lo­cally made planes be­tween small towns and metro ci­ties us­ing the air­ports that will be even­tu­ally up­graded un­der the Re­gional Con­nec­tiv­ity Scheme (RCS). At the Aero In­dia 2017, Union Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Min­is­ter Harsh Vard­han drew at­ten­tion to the NM-5 pas­sen­ger air­craft be­ing de­vel­oped jointly by the Na­tional Aero­space Lab­o­ra­to­ries (NAL) and Mahin­dra Aero­space. This will be cer­ti­fied by the Di­rec­torate Gen­eral of Civil Avi­a­tion in the next one-and-a-half months. Also, NAL will be­gin the of­fi­cial flight tests of the

Saras project. This 14-seater project was grounded fol­low­ing a crash in March 2009. Af­ter a com­mit­tee probed the crash, Saras was re­con­fig­ured and equip­ment up­graded to boost co­or­di­na­tion be­tween the de­sign­ers and pilots. Vard­han said that the ground tests for the up­graded Saras have al­ready be­gun. About 25 ini­tial flights are planned.

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