Collins Aerospace will continue to be a trusted partner to the clients and govt in India: Sunil Raina, MD, Customer & Account Management

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Updated: February 05, 2021 4:29 PM

Collins Aerospace, leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industries, has been a trusted partner in India since 1997.

sunil ranaSunil Raina, Managing Director, Customer & Account Management

Collins Aerospace, leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industries, has been a trusted partner in India since 1997. The company provides innovative engineering, design and product development services. “As the largest exporter of aerospace products in India, the company has helped the country become a major aerospace manufacturing hub with a thriving ecosystem,” says Sunil Raina, Managing Director, Customer & Account Management.

“Collins’ FAA and the DGCA partnership enabled it to become one of the first Indian entities to domestically produce and export an aviation product to the US. The company also successfully designed, developed, and qualified the power door opening system for the A320neo and Bombardier C-series at its Bengaluru facility,” Sunil Raina, Managing Director, Customer & Account Management tells Huma Siddiqui in an interaction at Aero-India.

Following are excerpts:

What role does Collins Aerospace India play in the overall global entity?

India holds a critical position for Collins Aerospace and has been so since our entry into the country. And we have a significant presence in India, including products and capabilities representing all of our strategic business units (SBUs) and the people leading them. Our SBUs include: Aftermarket Services, Customer and Account Management, Engineering and Technology, Operations and Quality, and Strategic Development.

Collins sites in India serve a substantial customer base, including local and international governments, aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and defense contractors. We provide engineering, system design and product development services to help our customers achieve a shorter time to market, lower program or project life-cycle cost, and innovative solutions of the highest quality.

More information on the India Design Center in Hyderabad and the Global Engineering Center in Bengaluru?

Collins Aerospace started operations in India in 1997 with a manufacturing facility in Bengaluru and has since then continued to expand its footprint in the country. The most notable contributions in India are the India Design Center in Hyderabad and the Global Engineering Center in Bengaluru, through which they support the ‘Aathmanirbhar Bharat’ or the self-sufficient India campaign.

The sites in India serve a substantial customer base, including local and international governments, aerospace OEMs, and defence contractors. And provides engineering, system design, and product development services that enable shorter time to market, lower program/project life-cycle cost, and innovative solutions of the highest quality for its customers.

Our products and capabilities across strategic business units include aftermarket services, customer and account management, engineering and technology, operations and quality, and strategic development; and the company provides employment to over 5500 employees across our 4 India locations, and we are looking to move into a new facility, located in Bengaluru’s new Aerospace Park.

Your perspective of government policies for the sector?

The Indian aviation industry was impacted much like every country around the world due to the pandemic. Despite that, today there are multiple initiatives being undertaken to bring the sector back to speed. We understand that the government is focused on the development of aviation infrastructure and we look forward to contributing to the growth of the sector in areas such as the connected aviation ecosystem for India’s aviation infrastructure requirements.

Collins Aerospace is trusted by multiple government and military missions to provide flight support services every day irrespective of where they are flying to, and will continue to be a trusted partner to the clients and government in India.

How has Collins contributed to India’s aerospace and defense capabilities?

Collins is working closely with the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) on the country space programs. In addition to this, we have provided our solutions to a couple of airports in the country to enhance efficiencies and provide an improved passenger experience.

Delhi International Airport Limited placed great emphasis on ‘Passenger Delight”, to provide a hassle-free experience to passengers during their boarding or arrival. In 2009, DIAL turned to Collins Aerospace as they figured it is essential to implement new technologies that could offer significant benefits to its passengers. DIAL’s Terminal 1D was the first domestic terminal to implement Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE), in 2009. With this new technology (CUTE), airlines were able to use any workstation for their daily operations and not follow a set rotation schedule. This allowed the passengers to check-in much faster.

The implementation of Collins’ solutions helped Indira Gandhi International airport, T1D handle its capacity issues, reducing processing time as well as decreasing passenger frustration and airport congestion. In addition, Collins’ commitment to training, support and collaboration across all relevant stakeholders made the implementation of the new systems seamless. The positive results led the two organizations to extend their collaboration to IGIA Terminal 3 (T3).

By using the PaxLink system, airline operations could be managed without the burden associated with the previous operating systems. This tool puts all the key elements such as reservations, inventory, departure control and weight and balance, into an intuitive system which is easily accessible. There is no additional hardware or network installation required and the implementation is done swiftly and without complications with this technology. PaxLink system helps the airlines to manage their passenger applications benefit from a 3-step check-in, and this provides a modular structure customized to meet requirements. It is a fully scalable solution that helps airlines and handling agents significantly. This technology has been implemented with Star Air airline in Bangalore and with FlyBig airline in Delhi.

The company is also contributing towards creating a highly skilled workforce through our manufacturing and engineering activities in the country, and through the multiple education CSR activities that are undertaken.

What are your plans for the Indian market in 2021?

Currently and in the future India will constitute a growing and strategic market for us. We, at Collins Aerospace, have innovation at the core of our company and will do everything possible to support our customers in India no matter what challenges the future brings. Our commitment to the market is to invest in people and infrastructure, in order to create disruptive solutions to the aerospace, defense and space sectors. We have a sizable portion of our attention and revenues that go towards building a better more empowered India and to that end we will continue our extensive CSR activations in the country.

What are Collin’s CSR initiatives activated in India?

Over the years, Collins Aerospace has put a great importance on serving the communities in which we function. Our varied CSR programs in India work towards building up stronger and empowered communities. We continue to support customers and contribute to the community in a more fulfilling way. Creating a skilled workforce is also one of the key focus areas.

Finally, as we come out of a tumultuous 2020, could you share how the company coped in the times of COVID-19?

Even in 2020 when the pandemic struck, Collins Aerospace geared up towards helping the global community to effectively tackle the virus. With a view to keep supply chains moving and keeping critical transportation functions active, we innovated to take on the huge challenge. Our Interiors team is designing and testing equipment even today, to assist first responders, health care providers and patients with the movement of life saving supplies. Today, due to the restrictions placed on passenger flights certain medical transport organizations are contemplating the use of cargo planes to transport time sensitive treatments such as stem cells for cancer patients, and they find utility in the solutions we enable. This is in addition to the fact that we provide the cargo systems and propellers, wheels & brakes, air management systems, as well as our avionics and communication systems, which comprise of the key components for cargo aircrafts like the C-130, which are currently being used by governments to transport essential supplies.

We provided spare parts for cargo carriers and Field Services teams around the world are enabling continued critical flight operations every day to transport medical supplies, cargo and return people to their homes.

In addition, we delivered Coronavirus test kits to a cruise ship quarantined off the California coast via our Goodrich Hoist.

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