Changing the Face of Transportation

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been reached involving the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs & Communications to produce the country’s fırst regional jet as part of its Regional Aircraft Project. The Project utilizes a modernized version of the Dornier 328 (D328), the TRJ328™, as a stepping-stone toward production of the Republic of Turkey’s first domestically-designed passenger aircraft.

 

The Project opens a new page for the Turkish aviation and aerospace industry, as well as the global aviation market, and marks the first domestically-produced regional jet in Turkish history. Both aircraft will be built and certified at a new commercial facility in Ankara, owned by TRJet.

Savunma Sanayi Mustesarligi (SSM) is the lead Procurement agency.

U.S.-based SNC, a privately-held aerospace and aviation systems company held by U.S. couple Eren and Fatih Ozmen, owns the Dornier 328 intellectual property and assets. TRJet is an affiliate of SNC. The aircraft fills a niche market for direct and frequent flights between Turkish cities which are not feasible using larger airplanes. According to market analysis, the aircraft will meet a large demand for both domestic and international needs as it is released to the global market.

Turkish Aviation Industry’s Role

Domestic aviation companies including Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Aselsan, TEI, Havelsan, Alp Aviation, Kale Aviation, Turkish Cabin Interior Inc. (TCI), and others are expected to participate in the project in coordination with TRJet and SSM in manufacturing of the subsystems of the aircraft, which will be produced in Turkey. The companies are set to leverage existing capabilities with technology and knowledge-sharing with Germany and the U.S.

As Turkey’s aviation and aerospace industry gathers momentum, special incentive funds are being provided to help increase the capabilities of local companies and engage those who are not currently operating in the aviation industry, but have capabilities applicable to the project. The goal is to direct Turkish industrialists and engineers to focus on and develop these areas to ensure Turkey has the capability to create an economically feasible aircraft.

Timing

While aircraft development typically requires 12-14 years from inception to completion, the Project starts from a better position due to the existing certification and global acceptance of the D328, from which the TRJ328 aircraft is being modeled. To achieve an accelerated timeline, enhancements are being made to the flight deck, future-proofing the aircraft. The inaugural flight of the TRJ328 aircraft is expected in 2019.

Economic Impact

TRJet anticipates the creation of hundreds to a few thousand jobs in Turkey. Primarily, this project is about the transfer of technology and establishing a credible aircraft Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in Turkey to further projects and job creation. Typically, in the aviation industry, indirect employment has a multiplier effect of five or greater.

Turkish workers will utilize local subcontractors and vendors, contributing significantly to the region's economy while continuing to develop the Republic of Turkey's burgeoning civil aviation industry.

PHOTO: Sierra Nevada Corporation owners sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Istanbul, Turkey. From left to right, Fatih Ozmen, SNC CEO; Eren Ozmen, SNC President; Davut Yılmaz, STM General Manager; and Arif Ergin, STM Chairman of the Board. Also present at the ceremony was Turkey's Ahmet Davutoğlu, the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Defense.