“Made in India” Dornier aircraft is now operational
The first ever “Made in India” dornier aircraft would be pressed into its maiden service linking five remote towns of Arunachal Pradesh to Assam’s Dibrugarh. All these places in eastern Arunachal Pradesh needed 1-5 days of travel to reach the nearest airports of Dibrugarh and Lilabari in Assam,
According to HAL sources, the 17-seater non-pressurized Dornier 228 with an AC cabin is capable of day and night operations. The light transport aircraft will facilitate regional connectivity in northeastern states. Two of these aircrafts were handed over to Alliance Air on last Thursday and one has been shifted to Dibrugarh airport, the newest hub for Alliance air.
These aircrafts will be used to give air connectivity to remote places of eastern Arunachal Pradesh including some areas close to China and Myanmar borders. The Advanced Landing Grounds ( ALG) maintained by Indian Air Force will be used for landing, official added.
Connectivity in North Eastern Region is very essential and Under “Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN)”, the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has identified North Eastern Region as a priority area. Under this scheme, MoCA intends to provide air connectivity and Aviation infrastructure in North Eastern Region (NER).
In this regard, new airports are getting developed and old airports are getting upgraded. Considering the hilly terrain, helicopter operations under UDAN scheme have been given focus for connectivity.
As a part of this scheme, two important events will take place. Firstly a flight of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) – Made in India- Dornier Do-228 will ply from Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat town in Arunachal Pradesh by Alliance Air. This will be India’s first ever commercial airline to fly Indian made aircraft for civil operations. Secondly, the very first FTO (Flying Training Organization) for North Eastern Region at Lilabari, Assam will be inaugurated .
Both events will attended by the Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia along with the Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Pema Khandu .
Dornier is originally a German aircraft first deployed by the long-defunct regional airline Vayudoot to service over 100 airports across India till the early 1990s. In 1981, HAL acquired the production license for the aircraft from the manufacturers and assembled 125 of them at its Kanpur facility for both civilian and military purposes.
Since 2009, Swiss aerospace engineering and defence company RUAG has been manufacturing the upgraded Do-228 New Generation (NG), with the fuselage, wings and tail being sourced from HAL.