India’s Mahindra group can finally start selling its airplanes in India after it got all approvals from the country’s civil aviation ministry, Chairman and Managing Director Anand Mahindra said today.
“The aviation ministry yesterday has cleared few norms for certification, which will finally allow us to sell our Australian planes in India,” Mahindra, who is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s CEO delegation to Australia, said here.
In New Delhi, ministry sources said the type certification for the single piston engine aircraft, given by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), was accepted by the Indian regulator DGCA.
The approval was stuck for long due to problems related to certification for such aircraft to fly with nine passengers, besides crew, instead of four which was allowed under Indian regulations.
“We have now amended our laws to be on par with international certification standards and the permission has been granted,” the source said.
In 2009, Mahindra group announced its intention to be a big player in the aerospace business by acquiring 75.1 per cent stake each in two Australian aerospace firms for Rs 175 crore as part of its plans to manufacture aircraft and allied components to service global market.
Since then it had started selling its aircraft in some markets but was unable to do so in India due to regulatory issues. Its aircraft are already flying in the Middle East and Australia.
“We bought an Australia company and we are selling our planes in California but due to a rule to do with seating capacity for piston engine plane, we were not able to sell in India,” Mahindra elaborated.
The range of planes, popularly known as Mahindra Gipps planes, are utility planes having seating capacities ranging from 5 to 10 seats.
Praising the Modi government for creating an environment conducive to do business, Mahindra said: “After the new government came into power, every roadblock was removed without undue haste and with respect and regards to new process.”
He further said if the Prime Minister’s initiative of ‘Make in India’ succeeds, there would be immense potential for doing business with Australia as India would require raw materials on a massive scale.
“If the ‘Make in India’ initiative succeeds, we will need raw materials on a scale that has not been visioned before,” he said, adding that Australia can become part of it, “as supply chain is the obvious relationship we share”.