HAL of­fers its 228s for the civil mar­ket

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & Inindia -

At long last, the pow­ers have ‘ dis­cov­ered’ that In­dia has been build­ing re­gional air­lin­ers or com­muter air­craft for over 30 years ! HAL’s Trans­port Air­craft Divi­sion at Kan­pur has manufactured the 19-seat Dornier 228 since 1985 with over 130 de­liv­ered, mostly to the In­dian Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard but over a dozen also built for civil op­er­a­tors in­clud­ing the erst­while Vayu­doot as also Jag­son Air­lines, UB Air­ways and the DGCA.

In early 2016, with the Re­gional Air Con­nec­tiv­ity Scheme get­ting un­der­way, HAL took the ini­tia­tive to build ad­di­tional Dornier 228s, specif­i­cally for the civil mar­ket and this was first made pub­lic dur­ing De­f­Expo 2016 at Goa in March 2016. On 10 De­cem­ber 2016, the Min­is­ter of State for Civil Avi­a­tion Jayant Sinha ‘in­au­gu­rated’ struc­tural assem­bly of HAL’s first such civil vari­ant Dornier 228 at HAL’s Kan­pur fa­cil­ity. “We are keen to take for­ward our Re­gional Con­nec­tiv­ity Scheme (RCS) and HAL has an im­por­tant role to play in this,” he said. The Min­is­ter pointed out that there is a mar­ket de­mand for at least 200 such air­craft and the gov­ern­ment would con­clude the con­tract with HAL once the first air­craft is rolled­out (see pic­ture).

Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, T Su­varna Raju, CMD, HAL said he ex­pected the first air­craft to roll­out by April 2017. The Dornier 228-201 ‘up­graded ver­sion’ is the most ob­vi­ous air­craft for In­dian op­er­a­tors for Re­gional Con­nec­tiv­ity Scheme (RCS). “Our aim is to help the Gov­ern­ment in its mis­sion to pro­vide af­ford­able and sus­tain­able air travel with ac­cess to var­i­ous parts of In­dia. As a proac­tive step in this di­rec­tion the HAL Board sanc­tioned Rs 100 crore for two civil vari­ants though there is no firm or­der. We see a big busi­ness op­por­tu­nity in this seg­ment for next 10 years,” he said. HAL has al­ready be­gun man­u­fac­tur­ing th­ese two civil demon­stra­tor air­craft.

The Kan­pur Divi­sion has been given civil cer­ti­fi­ca­tion CAR 21 for man­u­fac­ture and CAR 145 for Main­te­nance Re­pair & Over­haul ( MRO) of Dornier 228- 201 air­craft.

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