Bengaluru: India‘s Arunachal Pradesh province got a major boost to its regional connectivity, with the state-run aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signing a lease agreement with Alliance Air Aviation Limited for the supply of two civilian Dornier Do-228 aircraft for operating in the state bordering China.
HAL’s Kanpur-based Transport Aircraft Division General Manager Apurba Roy signed the arrangement papers with Alliance Air’s head of engineering Arun Kumar Bansal here, a statement from HAL said. It did not mention the cost of the lease.
The HAL Do-228 is a versatile aircraft well-suited for operations in the North East region of India and has the capabilities of short take-off and landing, and the ability to land and take-off from semi-prepared runways.
“This development opens a new vista in civil aviation for HAL. The company is keen to increase its footprint in the regional civil aviation by engaging more numbers of HAL Do-228 by air operators of the country,” the statement said regarding its foray into the Regional Connectivity Scheme of the Ministry of Civil Aviation that envisages reaching the remotest corners of India by bringing air bridge with those areas.
Speaking on the occasion, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said it was a big day for the border state, given the geographical challenges in the vast province. “The connectivity will now be easier.”
Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Home Minister Bamang Felix, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, and the state’s Secretary (Civil Aviation) Swapnil Nayak attended the online event through video conferencing tool.
India’s Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola, HAL Chairman and Managing Director R. Madhavan, Joint Secretary Usha Padhee, and senior officials from HAL, Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India joined the event.
HAL’s Transport Aircraft Division at Kanpur has been in the business of transport and trainer aircraft for defence customers. The Division has ventured into the manufacturing of Hindustan-228 aircraft, a 19-seat multirole utility aircraft built for various applications such as Very Important Person (VIP) transport, passenger transport, air ambulance, flight inspection roles, cloud seeding, and recreational activities like para jumping, aerial surveillance, photography and cargo applications.