BW Businessworld

Aero India 2017: Tie-ups, The New Trend

The event, promoting Make in India, was marked by several investment & partnership deals between top international and domestic companies

Photo Credit : Bivash Banerjee, Bivash Banerjee, Bivash Banerjee,

The 11th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition — Aero India 2017 — was a resounding success. Over 700 global and Indian companies participated and as many as 53 aircraft were showcased for the first time at the premier air show held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Bengaluru from 14-18 February.

During the five-day event, several investment and partnership deals were signed.

Theme ‘India’
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated the show making a big pitch for ‘Make in India’. He said the government is committed to creating an enabling environment for a domestic ecosystem of defence manufacturing, the results of which are already visible. “The defence public sector undertakings are being revitalised and encouraged. Government has also taken several initiatives for ease of doing business for private firms and additional initiatives are underway to support the role of private sector in defence manufacturing,” he added.

He said the government has already liberalised foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector to encourage foreign investments.

He also announced a Defence Innovation Fund, which would be open to both Indian and foreign industries and will especially focus on startups.

Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said India is the fastest growing aviation sector in passenger terms in the world. It holds tremendous potential to grow from its current ninth position in the world to being the third largest by 2022. Raju also said the government is determined to make inactive and under-utilised airports in India operational soon.

Sector Potential

During a briefing at the Aero Show, world’s largest aircraft manufacturer Boeing said it continues to see strong growth for India’s commercial aviation sector. “The major factors we watch — the exchange rate, fuel price, and the profitability of the airlines — are all still favourable and we remain confident in the strong growth of India’s commercial aviation sector,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president, Asia Pacific & India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We see the potential for travel growth in 2017 continuing to be high in India as we expect over 100 million passengers to fly domestically this year.”

According to Boeing’s 2016 India Current Market Outlook, 1,850 new airplanes, valued at $265 billion, will be needed in India, over the next 20 years.

Announcements & Partnerships
Aequs, one of India’s fastest-growing precision engineering companies, announced the opening of a high-end multi-capability aerospace and defence manufacturing facility in Tuem, Goa. This, according to the company, is the first venture of its kind in the private sector in India, which will manufacture high-end components and systems for aerospace and defence sector and support the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The new facility will be established with an initial investment of Rs 500 crore.

During the deal signing, Aravind Melligeri, chairman and CEO of Aequs, said, “The new facility in Tuem is a sign of our commitment towards the Indian defence sector. The sector relies heavily on imported equipment and technology. With the new facility, we aim to support the ‘Make in India’ initiative for one of the most critical sectors in the country. Our strategy will see technology transfers from aerospace giants around the globe. We will also generate employment for nearly 2,000 people.”

At the event, European aerospace group Airbus signed an MoU with the government of Telangana, National Skill Development Corporation India, and AEROCAMPUS France, to establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for aerospace skill development in Hyderabad.

To be opened at Begumpet airport, Hyderabad, the CoE will train high school graduates to experienced aviation personnel on aircraft manufacturing, logistics, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), ground handling and special aviation processes.

A similar MoU was signed between Dassault Systems and the Karnataka government to set up of a ‘Aerospace and Defence’ CoE in the state to provide high-end training to nearly 1,600 engineers every year. Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), as the academic partner, will provide space for the CoE on its campus in the Chikkaballapur district, 60 kms from Bengaluru.

In yet another partnership deal, Axiscades and Drone Volt signed an MoU to jointly cater to the growing market for drones in the Indian defence and aerospace sector. Under the MoU, both companies will evaluate scope for drones to address the requirements for aerial surveillance, including disaster management and hazardous site security.

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