Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday said the government is working on a policy framework for the domestic manufacturing of aircraft and also looking at aircraft financing and maintenance work within the country.
Prabhu also emphasised on carrying out of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work domestically. “We will soon roll out a road map for manufacturing of aircraft in India,” Prabhu said while speaking to the media at the Global Aviation Summit 2019, organised jointly by the Civil Aviation Ministry, the Airports Authority of India and Ficci.
The country needs 2,300 new aircraft to meet the future air travel demand, he said. “We would like to join hands with top players from across the globe.” The minister said the government wants aircraft financing to be done by domestic players. “We are already working on financing of aircraft and how that should happen from India. We are losing out lot of resources to outsiders,” Prabhu said.
He further said the government wants aircraft MRO to happen in the country. “There are so many planes and the maintenance and repairs can be done in India,” he said. Prabhu warned that if MRO work is not carried out in the country then the government will be losing out lot of money, besides job opportunities. He said the domestic passenger traffic has been growing at 17-18 per cent, adding the government is also now focusing on cargo and has for the first time unveiled a policy to boost the growth in the segment.
Prabhu said the government has recently launched a drone policy and would like to make sure that drone becomes one of the preferred use for many sectors such as agriculture and disaster management, among others. ‘We will make sure that drones are manufactured in the country,” he said. The inaugural session of the Summit, which was held in Mumbai, primarily focused on the summit’s main theme of ‘Flying for all’ which touts to make air travel affordable for citizen of every class in this country. The summit, which will touch on several verticals like importance of drones, affordable air travel, use of sustainable fuels in future, infrastructural development in a compact two-day event, seeks to pave the way for greater growth in the aviation sector through better policy-framing.
The aviation industry in India has been experiencing exponential growth with the domestic aviation market growing at 20 percent annually for the last four years. Prabhu highlighted the need for technology to pervade all aspects of aviation. The rise of fuel prices has been an issue in recent times but can be dealt with through an exchange between the minds in the industry. He also said there will be zero tolerance for any safety violation and as the demand for air travel keeps rising, they need to ensure safer, sustainable and smoother trips. Besides the ambitious plan of manufacturing indigenous drones, robust air cargo policy for greater trade and more transparent policy logistic study is also on the cards, the minister said.