German aircraft manufacturer, Deutsche Aircraft, which owns the rights to the Dornier 328 regional airplane, has submitted an application to Saxony authorities to build a new factory on the premises of Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ).
The company intends to restart the manufacture of the D328eco, an updated version of the Dornier 328. The aircraft, designed in the late 1980s, was produced between 1991 and 2000.
In 2006, after the bankruptcy of Fairchild Dornier, the rights to the 328 passed through the hands of several companies, before finally ending up in the possession of Deutsche Aircraft, a subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation.
The company has announced its intention to restart production of the aircraft in 2019, striving to outcompete similar aircraft, such as ATR-42, owing to the efficiency of its renewed design.
The new version of the aircraft, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW127S engines, can carry up to 43 passengers. According to Deutsche Aircraft, the D328eco has the potential to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the future, and can be adapted for single-pilot operations.
The D328eco is said to consume only 2.6 liters of fuel per 100 km per passenger, which is almost half the amount required by the original Do-328, and significantly less than similarly-sized competitors.
In a press release, Deutsche Aircraft said that the new Leipzig production line will also be carbon-neutral, and create 300 new jobs in the region.