Indian Regionals Considering Beriev BE-200
Various Indian regional airlines are discussing the acquisition of Beriev Be-200 aircraft to fill demand for water capable aircraft resulting from the countries lofty seaplane targets, as our colleagues at AIN pointed out last week. India’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), which allows seaplanes to serve up to 18 different routes, some of which are fairly challenged from an infrastructure perspective, is seeking to connect remote airports in India.
Building versatile aircraft which can serve more than just one purpose is smart business. Even though the aircraft’s most unique selling proposition features are geared toward aerial firefighting, the behemoth is capable of passenger transport as well. “This is a unique aircraft without the need to be based at an airport,” Beriev general director Yuri Grudinin said at the recently concluded Aero India Air Show in Bangalore. “We are holding talks with potential partners.”
The aircraft is capable to operate in wave heights of up to 1.3 meters (4.3 ft.) and requires no more than a shallow ramp measuring 130m x 70m (430 ft. x 230 ft.) to safely enter or exit the water in underdeveloped locations where a runway may be wishful thinking.
AIN quotes Grudinin as saying that infrastructure for operating the amphibian and regulatory approvals remain as big challenges. To make the operations feasible, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has appointed a team consisting of officials from the Airports Authority of India and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to carry out a feasibility study in around 20 locations for operations with seaplanes.
We have featured Beriev Aircraft a few times on Seaplanemagazine.com. The company has had some tremendous business development last year. The manufacturer sold four Be-200s with an option for six more to U.S.-based Seaplane Global Air Services.