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Arunachal creates aviation history: First homemade commercial aircraft lands in state

Itanagar: In a historic development, the first ever Made-in-India civil Dornier 228 aircraft of Alliance Air made its maiden landing at the Pasighat airstrip in East Siang district on Tuesday.

The 17-seater aircraft which had union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, law minister Kiren Rijiju and other dignitaries on board earlier took off from Dibrugarh in eastern Assam making Alliance Air the country’s first commercial airline to fly an Indian made aircraft for civil operations. Also Read: MP Tapir Gao bats for wider coverage of govt schemes

“Overjoyed and proud to embark on the 17 seater Made-in-India Dornier 228 aircraft – in its first ever maiden service to Arunachal Pradesh! Jai ho!,” Scindia said in a tweet sharing pictures of his journey towards Pasighat.

He earlier inaugurated the Dibrugarh-Pasighat flight along with Rijiju.

“The inauguration of the country-made Dibrugarh-Pasighat-Lilabari-Guwahati flight by Dornier under #UDAN today is a historic step in this direction after Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji declared North-East as a priority area! Hearty congratulations to the citizens of the state!” he said in a separate tweet later.

Law minister Rijiju also took to twitter to share his excitement.

“First time flying in fixed wing Aircraft to my State Arunachal Pradesh under “UDAAN” a vision of Prime Minister @narendramodi Ji connecting North East with ‘Made in India’ Dornier Aircraft of HAL. A symbol of #AatmanirbharBharat Thank you @JM_Scindia for being here in person!” he said.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu who later flagged off the flight from Pasighat said “the light transport aircraft will be a game changer in facilitating better air connectivity in the north east under UDAN.”

Among others, Lok Sabha MP Tapir Gao, state civil aviation minister Nakap Nalo, health minister Alo Libang, chief secretary Naresh Kumar and other dignities from the civil aviation ministry and Alliance Air were present on the occasion.

Manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Dornier 228 fixed-wing aircraft aims at providing better air connectivity between tier-2 and tier-3 towns with their closest city hubs.

According to Alliance Air coordinator (East) Chirasree Sanyal the maiden route linking Dibrugarh with Pasighat and Lilabari would operate twice every week from April 18.

“Alliance Air will initially be flying from Dibrugarh to Pasighat. In the next 15 to 20 days, it will fly to Tezu and then to Ziro. This is in the first phase. In the second phase, it will connect Vijaynagar, Mechuka and other places,” Sanyal said.

A lease agreement was signed between HAL and Alliance Air Aviation Limited in September last year for the supply of the two Dornier 228 aircrafts.

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