HAL-made Dornier 228 aircraft can now be used in Europe

Highlights

  • European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has accepted DGCA certification for the Dornier 228 plane
  • ‘Now the Dornier can be used for commercial use in Europe also. This is a big achievement for our make in India program,’ DGCA chief Arun Kumar told TOI

In a first, a made-in-India plane can now be used for commercial regional flights in Europe. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had in end of 2017 given type certification (TC) for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s (HAL)-made Dornier 228. This paved the way for the multi-purpose light transport aircraft to be used for civilian flights by regional operators in the country.

Now European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has accepted DGCA certification for this plane. “Now the Dornier can be used for commercial use in Europe also. This is a big achievement for our make in India program,” DGCA chief Arun Kumar told TOI.

The DGCA tweeted: “Happy to inform that HAL Civil Dornier 228 aircraft will have an Indian TC. After an extensive interaction between DGCA and EASA at Cologne on August 26, 2019, EASA supported DGCA for issuance of TC. Indeed a step forward towards ‘make in India’ initiative.”

The DGCA move 2017-end move had paved the way for the 19-seater Dornier 228, which was to be used by defence forces, to be used by regional connectivity service operators under the ude desh ka aam nagrik (UDAN) scheme. However since UDAN itself is facing teething troubles due to small and financially weak operators struggling to start flights awarded to them, this aircraft is yet to find commercial success in India.

The Dornier 228 is made at HAL’s transport aircraft division at Kanpur. “The 19 seater HAL Dornier-228 aircraft is a 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 HAL website says.

The non-pressurised plane has maximum cruise speed of 428 kmph and a range of 700 km. It is capable of night flying.

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