New Delhi: The civil aviation ministry has rejected Paramount Airways application seeking import of at least five Bombardier jets ahead of a hearing of a writ petition filed by the airline in Madras High Court challenging the directorate general of civil aviation's (DGCA) decision to suspend its permit to operate scheduled air transport service in the country.
“The airline's permit has been suspended so it cannot be allowed to import aircraft. In an aircraft acquisition committee (AAC) meeting this week we rejected their proposal," a senior official in the ministry of civil aviation told FE.
The aviation sector regulator DGCA had in July suspended the scheduled operators permit issued to Paramount Airways as the airline failed to meet the necessary requirements under Aircraft Rules. Following this the Madurai-based carrier filed a writ petition in Madras High Court challenging the DGCA order.
“The case is posted for further hearing in Madras high Court on Monday,” industry sources said.
India takes first steps towards own regional aircraft
Bangalore: India’s very own Regional Transport Aircraft, or RTA, is taking shape. This is notwithstanding the criticism heaped on the indigenous small passenger aircraft programmes like Saras and Hansa.
An RTA is said to be more suitable for a place like India where within a radius of 300-400 km of a big city you have another one.
The Rs 3,000-4,000 crore project was set-in motion a month earlier by the Defense Research and Development Organisation. National Aeronautics Limited is the nodal agency for the design of the aircraft. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is expected to produce it.
The project is expected to give a shot in the arm to the aviation sector in the country. RTA is more suitable to reach places within a 500-km radius. The aircraft would have a range of 600 km to 800 km. HAL and the NAL have not decided on many aspects of the aircraft such as work share, funding and even whether the aircraft will have a turbo-prop or turbo jet engine. NAL had held discussions with Pratt & Whitney (Canada) and General Electric (US) for an engine.
Quest Global, the outsourced manufacturing company, is now in the design team for RTA. It hopes to be involved in the manufacturing too.
“It is the point-to-point connecting ability of RTAs that could make it popular today, and could hold sway in future too,” said Aravind Melligeri, Chairman & Co-founder of Quest Global. The hub-and-spoke model is not favoured by many who do not want to get on or off aircrafts to reach their destination.
About 400 of these regional jets are expected to be manufactured. Of these, 200 will go to the armed forces.
The CSIR-funded project draws from the experience derived from developing the Saras and the Hansa.
But, is there a market big enough for the aircraft to spend that much money? “There is a market for it in India. The next phase of growth in the aviation industry would be tier-II and tier-III cities,” said Amber Dubey, director, KPMG. The RTA would also cater to the needs of different sectors such as tourism, SEZs, ports, and cargo hubs. Such places may not have the critical mass to justify a B-737 or A-320. With a runway requirement of around 900m, the RTA can help revive many of the old unused airstrips in the country,” added Dubey.