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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

State-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) management has allowed Transport Aircraft Division, Kanpur, HAL to develop a Dornier 228 seaplane based on the Dornier 228 aircraft that was so far being manufactured under license from RUAG for Indian defense forces and European markets.

Transport Aircraft Division already has developed floats for the program that has been tested intensively to replace its traditional landing gear system for taking off and landings at the sea. Conversion of Dornier 228 aircraft into seaplane was first proposed at Aero India 2021 as HAL believes there exists a small market for both civilian and military usage of such seaplanes.

Civil aviation and waterways ministries plan to develop 14 water aerodromes by the end of 2024. Government has plans to develop at least 28 routes that have been awarded so far under the UDAN scheme & bids are under evaluation for 78 more. the “Space shuttle” a subsidiary of aviation player SpiceJet, was the first to operate Twin Otter seaplane service between the Sabarmati Riverfront and the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.

Transport Aircraft Division will also be strengthing the midsection of the fuselage for a hard landing on the sea or riverfronts. HAL already has developed Hindustan-228, a Civilian 19-seater aircraft that will be operated by the Alliance Air on the Indian government’s subsidized Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN) routes in the mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India.

HAL Management expects orders for 25-30 units coming from both Military and commercial players but selling Dornier 228 seaplane won’t be easy as it will cost more than the popular Twin Otter seaplane that is often the preferred choice of seaplane operators in India and worldwide.

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