Economy, Business And Markets

New Flight Inspection Plane Takes Off

New Flight Inspection Plane Takes OffNew Flight Inspection Plane Takes Off

Iran’s newly-purchased Beechcraft King Air 350i flight inspection plane has begun operation.

The $9 million aircraft landed at Shiraz International Airport on Wednesday after performing its first flight calibration services since its inauguration in June, Mehr News Agency reported.

The new US-made twin turboprop plane will be used for the periodic evaluation of navigational aids, such as flight procedures and electronic signals, in line with standards set by organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and Federal Aviation Administration to ensure that the facilities are safe and accurate.

The new plane, which was delivered before the lifting of sanctions to state-run Iran Airports Company, is “the newest and the best such product in the world”, according to Rahmatollah Mahabadi, the head of IAC.

Iran lost its only flight inspection plane two years ago. The Dassault Falcon 20E crashed in the eastern shore of the southern Kish Island in February 2014. The crash limited the Islamic Republic’s flight inspection capabilities and raised safety concerns.

Experts have praised the new purchase as “strategic”, enabling increased safety and credibility for Iran’s aviation industry, besides reducing the country’s reliance on foreign states for performing flight inspection and airport calibration services.

Although Ukraine and Pakistan have recently offered to perform the operations, Tehran remained reluctant amid security concerns.

Following the lifting of nuclear sanctions in January, as part of the July deal between Tehran and world powers, Iran has taken a range of measures, including purchase of new planes, airport facilities and navigation aids, to upgrade its aviation industry so that it can regain the stature it once had in the region.