HAL’s Dornier 228 Gets Commercial Flight Nod
The Made-in-India plane, Dornier 228 aircraft, will soon ferry civilians on its wings, as the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given the approval for its commercial flight operations. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)-manufactured Dornier 228, the first plane to be made in the country for commercial flights, to be used for civilian flights. The DGCA has given type certification to this aircraft along with certificate of airworthiness to HAL's Dornier 228. The 19-seater aircraft has, till now, been used only by defence forces.
Now, HAL can sell this plane to airlines in India, and it can be used by them for regional flights under the central government's ambitious UDAN scheme. The government is expected to provide some special incentives to the operators who are using this plane. Also, HAL has plans to sell this plane for civil use in neighbouring countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka. According to HAL, its 'transport aircraft division' in Kanpur division has commenced the manufacturing of the civil variant of Dornier 228 aircraft.
The HAL describes the Dornier 228 as "a highly versatile multi-purpose light transport aircraft”. Dornier 228 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 a maximum cruise speed of 428kmph and a range of 700 km. It is capable of night flying.
HAL has successfully carried out the test flights of Dornier 228 at Kanpur airport after DGCA approved its commercial purpose. While the DGCA has now allowed Dornier 228 to be used for commercial flights, HAL has said that it can also be used for "pollution prevention" and "executive transport".