In what is a breakthrough for India’s aviation sector, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation has given its approval to the Dornier 228 aircraft manufactured by HAL that are used for civil flights, according to a report by the Times of India. .
The Dornier Do 228 is being used by the armed forces of India and is capable of carrying 19 passengers at a time.
The aircraft can be used for regional flights, especially for shorter distances, and will serve to boost the UDAN government scheme (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik).
The UDAN plan aims to develop regional airports in the country and increase regional connectivity so that all ordinary citizens can fly to their destination.
Since the Dornier Do 228 HAL is designed for military use, the civil version of the plane will come with some modifications here and there. However, the structure of the body is expected to remain the same.
The twin-engine plane, which is manufactured at the HAL facilities in Kanpur, will become the first aircraft manufactured in India in the country to be used for civil flights.
The HAL Transportation Aircraft Division, based in Kanpur, is capable of manufacturing, maintaining, modifying and updating light transport aircraft and training aircraft for both the domestic and international markets.
According to the TOI report, HAL can sell the Dornier 228 to neighboring countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka, as well as to local operators.
It is likely that the Dornier Do 228 will be used to connect regional airports in underdeveloped regions across the country that are not covered by the larger aircraft carriers.
The aircraft is powered by a Garrett TPE 331-5-252D engine with a maximum cruise speed of 428 kmph and consumes 213 kg of fuel per flight hour.
Following the information on the HAL website, the aircraft can be used for pollution prevention activities, maritime surveillance, aerial reconnaissance of a region, evacuation of victims of jammed areas and search and rescue operations.
As of February 2015, HAL had manufactured 125 Dornier Do 228 aircraft, having acquired the production license of Dornier GmbH in 1981.