Jaipur, Aug 8 : Rajasthan has plans to provide air connectivity to amongst all its major cities.
Rajasthan already has operating flights to Jodhpur, Udaipur , Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Sriganganagar from Jaipur at affordable prices and the state government is making efforts to increase inter-state air connectivity, thus bringing relief to common man.
There are 18 state-owned air fields in Rajasthan besides AAI airports, defence airfields and private airstrips. These small distance flights are mainly operated by Supreme Airlines, which also has its operation in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
Supreme Airlines operates through Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft for connecting tier-2 or tier 3 cities. The Cessna Caravan 208B is a fixed-gear, short-haul, regional airliner and utility aircraft with a single turboprop engine that is built in the United States by Cessna. It requires a single pilot and seats nine passengers, although it can seat up to a maximum of fourteen passengers. Its prototype first flew in 1982, but the production model was certified by the FAA in October 1984. Its primary user is the FedEx Feeder, FedEx aircraft which feed packages to and from airports served by larger jet aircraft.
Here in Rajasthan, it offers luxurious interiors , ample leg space and can accommodate eight to nine passengers. It has an average speed of 280 km per hour and has nonstop flying range of 2000 km.
But yesterday’s plane crash at Sriganganagar where the plane overshot the runaway and hit the boundary wall at Lalgarh airport, raises question on its safety for the passengers.
Although all nine passengers including two pilots aboard were safe and no major damage was done to plane , the hit on the boundary wall is an pointer to safety lapses. And thus the ambitious plans of the government needs to be moderated as safety concerns of the passengers are supposed to be given top priority.
There have been a total of 231 recorded incidences and 166 fatalities with the Cessna Caravan, according to the Aviation Safety Network.
The government needs to be watchful and ensure all safety measures before handing out licences to private operators for operation between smaller cities.