Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s fleet of flying machines will soon have two new sets of wings – a helicopter and an airplane – for which the state government has allotted Rs 80 crore in the budget for the fiscal year 2014-15.
An official informed that the government requires at least two choppers and two aircrafts ready to be used any time. “The need for these fast aircraft was being felt for long,” the official added.
At present, the state fleet has two airplanes – Hawker (jet-propelled) and Superking V200 (turbo-propelled that can fly at a maximum speed of 600 km per hour). It also has three choppers – Agusta, Bell 230 and Bell 412 (preferred by the CM).
The state government recently sold one of its airplanes (Superking V300) as it had completed its flying life span, while it’s in the process of selling off Bell 230 for the same reason.
The new turboprop airplane, with twin engines and the all-up weight (aircraft gross weight) under 5,700 kg, will have the capacity to carry minimum six to seven passengers excluding the pilots.
The CM, preferably, wants the airplane to fly with four passengers excluding pilots up to 1800 km (970 nautical miles) without refueling.
Officials informed that the aircraft being purchased will require fueling only once to fly from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and will have the minimum average speed of 500 kmph.
The new chopper, on the other hand, will have the capacity to carry a maximum of six passengers with executive seating configuration for VVIPs. The minimum average cruising speed will be around 100 knots (185.2 km per hour) and the capacity to fly approximately 250 nautical miles (463 km) with the same all-up weight as the airplane.
A senior official with the Civil Aviation department, while informing that the budget allocated is “enough”, said that the department is inviting global tenders for the procurement of the two new additions in the state fleet.
Last year, the state government had similarly initiated to buy a new airplane but the process stretched for a little too long until the financial year came to a close on March 31 and the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections came into effect soon afterwards, forcing the government to shelf the purchase then.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines