Centre revives indigenous civilian plane programme

The 15-member high-power committee was set up on Thursday to nurture the dream of having a 70-seater regional transport aircraft. The first meeting, with former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair as its Chairman, will be held at National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) in Bangalore on Saturday, sources said.

The go-ahead for the RTA project comes days after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) blamed NAL for violating DGCA processes that contributed to the fatal Saras accident last March.  However, the DGCA report was categorical that there was no major “design flaw” in the Saras.

Development cost of RTA could be between Rs 4000-5000 crore. The aim is to make an aircraft that fly 600-800 km at a stretch and would provide connectivity with far-flung regions in the country.

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