Indian Aviation Sector Needs Strong MROs, Skilled Workforce for Maintenance: Sitharaman

Bangalore, February 20, 2019: As the Indian aviation sector is witnessing tremendous growth, there is a severe need to set up systems that would help the sector grow seamlessly. Realising the further need of aircrafts, both civil and military, India would require a strong maintenance, repair and operations set-up immediately.

Addressing at the event on International Conference on Indian Aerospace organised by India’s oldest apex body ASSOCHAM in Bangalore, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Union Minister of Defence, Government of India, said that the event was a convergence of civil and military aviation. She said that the country would be buying at least 150-160 aircrafts per year and hence, would also require skilled people to work in these MROs.

Reiterating the requirements of the Indian aviation sector, Ms Sitharaman said that she has advised the ministry to form three groups to work on areas that need immediate intervention.  She said, “Firstly, India needs at least 1600 aircrafts of various sizes in next 10 years and hence needs a relevant ecosystem for maintenance and repair works.  These MRO centres will also be producing trained pilots and skilled workforce to support such a humungous set-up. I have asked the ministry to utilise offsets for R&D, quality determination and testing facilities.”

Insisting on the third and the most important aspect of drones, Ms Sitharaman said that, “We need to understand what the industry, ministry and the military is talking about drones as its applications are growing across military as well as civil segments. If there is a need, then we need to explore this segment further. Manufacturing of drones is a priority and we will definitely work on the policy that would facilitate the ecosystem.”

Present at the occasion, the other dignitaries were Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Govt. of Telangana, Bernhard Brenner, Executive VP, Airbus, Ms. Pascale Sourisse, Senior Executive Vice President - International Development, Thales Group, Cdr. Gautam Nanda, Associate Partner, BDO India LLP and Mr Balkrishan Goenka, President, ASSOCHAM.

Commenting on the development of the home grown industries in defence and aerospace area, Mr Balkrishan Goenka suggested, “India’s Aerospace & Defence (A&D) sector has grown substantially in recent years and our Government’s focus on indigenization is further expected to attract huge global investments. Our Government’s initiative to partner with private players and policy reforms are expected to enhance the domestic manufacturing and an increased export potential. The opening up of the Indian defence sector for private sector participation is helping global OEMs enter into strategic partnerships with Indian companies and leverage opportunities in the domestic as well as global markets. This will also further help in employment as more skilled workforce would be required to cater the requirements generating from the sector.”

India already has some of the finest components and equipments manufacturing companies, supplying to the Aerospace & Defence Industry and they are now part of the Global supply chain due to the progressive policies by the Government.

The Government, in recent years has been consistently working towards attracting investments in the domestic defence sector so that home grown players can get global exposures. However, the country needs a global standard MRO (Maintenance, Repairs, Operations) framework which will help the domestic defence and aerospace sector in growing leaps and bounds.

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