INDIA is well set to manufacture its own commercial aircraft, the prototype for which is currently under preparation.
G Ashok Kumar, joint secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, revealed at a press conference in Hyderabad early this month: “The specifications for the prototype of the aircraft will be revealed in four months.
“The Indian government will partner with private sector companies on this venture.”
The move comes 23 years after the idea of India producing its own commercial aircraft was first mooted.
It also signals the continuation of the National Civil Aircraft Development programme, which was started in 1991 but came to a standstill when India faced sanctions from the US for testing the nuclear bomb in 1998.
Russia, which was then collaborating with India in the design of the aircraft, also withdrew from the project.
Kumar added that the aircraft will not be airborne before 2021.
An India-made aircraft is expected to drastically reduce the cost of travel for Indians as well as cut down import costs and probably open an avenue for export of airplanes to commercial airline companies.