"About 100 experts from state-run agencies, private sector and research organisations participated in the panel discussion and deliberated on the challenges, including technology, time scales, and conceptual design issues, manufacturing skills needed and commercial viability of the aircraft."
Bangalore, June 9 - A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) would be formed soon to design, develop and manufacture India's maiden regional aircraft for the burgeoning civil aviation sector, a top official said Monday.

An SPV is being formed with the National Aerospace Laboratories to build the first 'made in India' regional civil aircraft by 2020-22 through public-private partnership (PPP) model, state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) chairman R.K. Tyagi said at a strategic meeting on the ambitious project here.

Stressing the need for an indigenous aircraft, Tyagi said HAL had taken the lead to roll out a medium range (90-seater) passenger aircraft with about 100 private vendors as partners.

As the world's ninth largest civil aviation market, with a potential to be third by 2020, it is important for India to have its own regional aircraft. We have taken the lead to build this aircraft on PPP model with the contribution of vendors, he said.

National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council member secretary Ajay Shankar said the aerospace industry should be able to produce a regional aircraft over the next six-eight years in view of the skill sets and cost advantage the country possessed.

The erstwhile Congress-led government had sanctioned Rs.20 crore for a feasibility study to design and develop the aircraft to fly on feeder and trunk routes across the country.

The state-run Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) constituted a 15-member high-power committee (HPC) in May 2011 under the chairmanship of former ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair to launch the national civil aircraft development project under NAL as the nodal agency.

The design and development of the prototype is estimated to cost about Rs.5,000 crore (Rs.50 billion) and is expected to be ready in five-six years for flight trials.

About 100 experts from state-run agencies, private sector and research organisations participated in the panel discussion and deliberated on the challenges, including technology, time scales, and conceptual design issues, manufacturing skills needed and commercial viability of the aircraft.

Executives from leading Indian and overseas aerospace firms such as GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney, Eaton, Mahendra and Titan Industries shared their views and evinced interest in participating in the project.


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