A Russian aircraft manufacturer is planning to begin assembly of modernized Canadian regional Twin Otter planes in 2014, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.
The Vityaz company plans to assemble 24 of the utility aircraft annually. They were developed by De Havilland Canada and are currently produced by Viking Air.
The 19-passenger DHC-6 Twin Otter is optimal for operations in the Arctic and Russia's extreme North, a spokesman for Aviasoyuz small and regional aviation association said.
"Without waiting for the start of production, we have decided to purchase nine aircraft in Canada for the use by Chukotka Air," he said.
Twin Otter is a very versatile plane capable of taking off and landing on field airstrips with the length of only 600 meters, he said. The plane can use different chassis depending on the terrain or assigned missions.
The project could turn profitable after the assembly of about 50 Twin Otters, while the potential commercial market for this type of aircraft is estimated at about 200 planes over 10 years.
The same number could be ordered by the military, police and emergencies services, he added.
Ilyushin emphasized that the project may give a boost to the long-desired development of small regional aviation in Russia.