The Maharashtra government on Monday cleared the decks for India’s first individual aircraft maker Captain Amol Yadav to set up an indigenous factory for manufacturing 20-seater aircraft in Palghar in a Rs 35,000 crore project, an official said.
Yadav created waves in February 2016, when he constructed a small airplane on his building terrace and displayed it at the ‘Make In India’ mega-event in Mumbai.
The Devendra Fadnavis government signed a MoU with Yadav’s Thrust Aircraft Pvt Ltd, India, to set up the plant to build small aircraft and develop Palghar as a new aviation hub.
The government had already announced that the company of the 41-year-old Deputy Chief Pilot with Jet Airways, would be allotted around 155 acres of land in Palghar, around 100 km from Mumbai, to implement the project as part of the ‘Make In India’ initiative.
The ambitious Memorandum of Understanding agreement was inked in the presence of Chief Minister Fadnavis and Yadav’s company during the ongoing ‘Magnetic Maharashtra: Convergence 2018′ global investors’ conclave, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 18.
The milestone achievement for Yadav comes exactly 90 days after the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) registered his home-built small six-seater aircraft, which was painstakingly built over six years on the terrace of his building in Kandivali suburb, from 2011.
On November 20, 2017, Fadnavis met and formally handed over the DGCA certificate to Yadav, entitling him to undertake field and aerial tests on the rooftop built airplane.
At the ‘Make In India’ mega-event in Mumbai in 2016, Yadav had displayed the aircraft for the first time attracting admiration from the visitors and dignitaries alike, including Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Fadnavis.
Yadav explained that the terrace of his three-BHK apartment is spread around 1,600 sq.ft and served as the cradle for India’s first individual effort at creating a full-fledged, airworthy aircraft from 2011.
He was inspired after witnessing aviation buffs in the US buying old airplanes and remodelling them into customised six or twelve-seaters.
Named as ‘VT-NMD’, for ‘Narendra Modi Devendra’, Yadav’s six-seater aircraft can soar upto 13,000 feet, climbing at 1,500-feet per minute, achieve top speeds of 185 knots with a range of 2,000 km, or a flying distance of Mumbai-New Delhi.
On Friday, President Ram Nath Kovind had invited Yadav, his wife Yogita, brother and parents to Rashtrapati Bhavan for a courtesy meeting.