Bangalore: The National Aerospace
Laboratories (NAL) here is more than doubling the size of the
design bureau, tasked with development of an indigenous civil
aircraft for regional connectivity, as the country`s ambitious
programme gathers momentum.
The design bureau currently has a head-count of 80
engineers -- a mix of domain experts drawn from Hindustan
Aeronautics, Indian Space Research Organisation and NAL, among
others, as well as young techies.
This team has already undertaken preliminary design of
the aircraft and prepared the project report.
G Madhavan Nair, who chairs the High Powered Committee
(HPC) formed by NAL (a Council of Scientific and Industrial
Research lab) to oversee the project, said a selection process
is on to hire 100 more engineers, both freshers and
experienced hands with domain knowledge.
"Already, response is good," Nair, a former Chairman of
Indian Space Research Organisation, said.
He said the Planning Commission recently reviewed the
project and "they have given a positive report on that" and
added that a formal Cabinet approval to the Rs 7,555 crore
programme is expected in a couple of months.
The feasibility study conducted by HPC concluded that
there is a market potential for 70-to-100 seat regional
transport aircraft in India. The baseline design is a 90-seat
twin turbofan engine powered aircraft.