Tribune News Service
Mumbai, January 15
Aircraft manufacturing in India will soon become a reality with the government working on a blueprint for the same, Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said on sidelines of the Global Aviation Summit 2019 here.
Speaking to reporters after the inauguration of the event, Prabhu said India needed 2300 aircraft to meet the domestic demand for air-travel in the coming years. "We will soon roll out a road map for manufacturing aircraft in India," Prabhu said. He added that the government was looking to attract top players from around the world to build aircraft in India.
The minister added that maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of aircraft be done domestically. At present most of the MRO work on bigger aircraft are carried out abroad. Apart from money, job opportunities for Indians were being lost with MRO work being done out of the country, the minister noted.
Prabhu added that the government wanted aircraft financing to be carried out by domestic financial institutions. “We are already working on financing of aircraft and how that should happen from India. We are losing out lot of resources to outsiders,” he told reporters.
According to the minister, the government was now emphasising on the growth of air cargo and policy for this segment has been unveiled. The government has also regulated the use of drones and these tools would be used in agriculture and disaster management, Prabhu said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state government was planning nine airports across Maharashtra in addition to the proposed Navi Mumbai airport. Pune and Nagpur airports were in the process of being upgraded to cater to national and international traffic, Fadnavis added.
While Pune airport would provide global connectivity to one of India's major IT hubs Nagpur which is just an hour's flying distance from all major cities in the country would be an ideal international hub, the chief minister said.
Fadnavis, who hails from Nagpur, said a passenger and cargo hub will also be created in that city.
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