‘Hyderabad Air Show’: The US-India Business Council (USIBC) supported the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s and FICCI’s fifth edition of the India Aviation Summit that was held in Hyderabad from March 16 to 20, 2016.
More than 200 aviation companies and delegates from over 25 countries participated in the summit. The summit included international exhibitors such as aircraft manufacturers, machinery and equipment manufacturers, skill development and training institutions, among others.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation also organized a CEO forum for top industry leaders to discuss key issues impacting the sector with Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the Minister of Civil Aviation and R. N. Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the summit on March 16 at the Begumpet airport in Hyderabad.
There was also an interactive session where representatives of the two partner countries – USA and Canada, and six states (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana) participated.
USIBC organized a closed door interaction for its members with visiting US government principals, including Susan Kurland, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs of the Department of Transportation and Henry Steingass, Regional Director for South and Southeast Asia at USTDA. Key areas of discussion included Make in India in civil aerospace, the helicopter market in India and the role of helicopters in enhancing regional connectivity, aviation security and investments in airport infrastructure and skill development.
“Make in India – the flagship initiative of the government is about win-win partnerships. For the government it is finding those partners that can support and enable the investment and the development of manufacturing capability in India, and, for aerospace manufacturing companies it is about finding the right partners that offer them a competitive edge,” said Pratyush Kumar, President of Boeing India.
On March 17, there was also an international conference, where discussions focused on India’s potential as a global manufacturing hub, enhancing air connectivity through world class infrastructure and financing, developments in air cargo and potential for aircraft Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) providers.
USIBC looks forward to the implementation of the civil aviation policy by the beginning of the next fiscal year, after the cabinet is anticipated to approve it at the end of this month.
The aviation policy was first presented in November 2014 and then revised in October 2015 and put up for public comments. Key issues that need to be finalized include the controversial 5/20 rule, a cap on airfares at Rs. 2,500 for flights of one-hour duration under the regional connectivity scheme for places that are not served currently, and the auctioning of international flying rights, among other components.