The engine type, seating capacity and other specifications discussed in CAPAC meeting

Specifications for the ambitious project to develop the country’s first 70-100 seater regional transport aircraft (RTA) as also the type of engine to power it will be finalised within two to three months.

The aircraft is planned to be built jointly by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) through a special purpose vehicle (SPV).

Interacting with the media at the India Aviation-2014 Show here on Friday, Asok Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said a meeting of the Civil Aviation Products Advisory Committee (CAPAC) held here on Thursday discussed the design of the aircraft.

It was decided to finalise in two to three months the type of engine -- turboprop or turbojet-- the specifications and whether it should be 70, 80 or 100 seater aircraft.

Mr. Asok said the first prototype of the proposed RTA was expected to be ready in seven to eight years.

He said the meeting also discussed regulation and policy matters relating to aviation and the need to promote aeronautical products. The draft on national aeronautical policy also came up for discussion.

Meanwhile, during one of the meetings at the ongoing Aviation Show, captains of American industry indicated their willingness to collaborate on the RTA initiative. HAL Board had already given approval for JV/SPV and the initial funding of Rs. 20 crore would be borne by the JV partners, according to a HAL release.

The meeting, which was attended by CEOs of various companies, underscored the need for the Indian aviation industry to have a single certifying agency authorised to issue civil and military flying rights for any aircraft produced in the country.

HAL chairman R.K. Tyagi said the single certifying agency would be in national interest as it would mean huge saving in terms of costs and time. ‘ Must give fillip to our products’“It is absolutely must to give a fillip to our own products both in civilian and military segments and reduce dependency on foreign products,” he added.

The release said Dr. Tyagi and others also focused on the critical issue of some Indian products getting approval from relevant certifying agencies in Europe and USA. For example, Indian products such as Dhruv helicopter (civil and military variants) have proved their mettle in most challenging situations. “Why shouldn’t it fly in America or anywhere else?” he asked.

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