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Civil Aviation on Autopilot
A lacklustre India Aviation 2014 was an image of the civil aviation industry waiting for favourable winds to blow

India Aviation

Already one of the world’s largest defence markets, India aspires to grow into the third largest aviation market globally, in the next six years (by 2020). The immense potential offered as a result of this, and indeed the urgency, leads one to wonder as to how did we end up with two major shows this year (DefExpo and India Aviation), that were dead in the water from day one?

If DefExpo 2014 was a sleepy affair, then India Aviation 2014, held last month in Hyderabad was a timid show with only a single major announcement made during its entire duration! The aircraft on display featured only two commercial jet-liners along with a handful of business jets and no helicopters at all. While impressive numbers were being doled out by officials about India’s potential, companies looking for business in India were far more pragmatic – they didn’t expect any significant movement before 2015-2016.

During the show, it was announced that the American industry had discussed its willingness to collaborate on India’s Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA) initiative. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) have already formed a JV/Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to develop a 70-100 seat passenger aircraft powered by either turbofan or turboprop engines. The initial funding of Rs 20 crore will be borne by the JV partners and the HAL board has already given approval for the JV/SPV.

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