Government of India-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has delivered the first civilian Dornier-228 aircraft to Alliance Air. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a Navratna company, is the largest Defense PSU under the Department of Defense Production, Ministry of Defence.
Alliance Air will operate aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh under the UDAN scheme to facilitate connectivity between the northeastern states.
Alliance Air is a division of Tata-owned Air India Limited. It was formerly known as Air India Regional and was established in 1996 as a division of Indian Airlines and primarily operates domestic routes. The sub division was established when Air India was under state control. On 8 October 2021, 100% rights of Air India were sold to the Tata Group.
The Centre-run Alliance Air had in February entered into an agreement with state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for leasing two 17-seater Dornier 228 aircraft.
The HAL Do-228 is a versatile aircraft suitable for operations in the Northeast and has the capability of short take-off and landing on the semi-prepared runways mentioned earlier by the company. The compact size of the aircraft gives it high maneuverability which plays a crucial role in areas like Northeast India.
India’s First Indigenous Civilian Aircraft
It is important to note that though the aircraft is indigenously built, the technology is not indigenous. The Dornier 228 was designed and manufactured by Dornier GmbH, Germany. In 1983, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) purchased a production license and began manufacturing the aircraft in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The truly indigenous platform of India is the SARAS civil aircraft which has been struggling for many years and not much progress has been made in that regard.
Recently, Economic Times reported that India will adopt a solution from Dassault Aviation in its Saras platform.