India Aviation 2014 kicks off in Hyderabad

Posted on Mar 12 2014 - 11:18pm by IBC News

HYDERABAD, March 12, 2014 – The biggest deal in the aviation history of India ever signed was concluded between Indian budget airline, Spice Jet Ltd and Boeing Co at the 4th International Exhibition & Conference on Civil Aviation being held from today up to 16th March, 2014 at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad. The $4.4 billion or rupees 26,000 crores deal entails a sale of 42 737 MAX jets by Boeing to Spice Jet.

Inaugurating the “4th International Exhibition & Conference on Civil Aviation- India Aviation 2014â€, organized by Ministry of Civil Aviation in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Mr.

Ajit Singh, Union Civil Aviation Minister said that the rapidly expanding air transport network and opening of the airport infrastructure to private sector participation has fuelled the growth of air traffic in India. Currently the 9th largest aviation market, handling 121 million domestic and 41 million international passengers with more than 85 international airlines operating to India and 5 Indian carriers connecting over 40 countries, the Indian Civil aviation industry has systematically evolved during the last 100 years of its existence. The sector is poised to handle 336 million domestic and 85 million international passengers by 2020, making India the third largest aviation market.
The commercial fleet size is expected to grow from 400 today to 1000 aircraft by 2020.

He further said that 49% FDI by foreign airlines in Indian carriers has emerged as the biggest game changer, resulting in two new scheduled airlines, Air Asia and Tata Asia in the process of starting their operations. A number of global players have entered Indian aerospace manufacturing, ground handling, training and capacity building, cargo and MRO industry. To address the forthcoming challenges the govt has decided to set up a separate Civil Aviation University to produce world class manpower in aviation sector. Considering growth prospects of air traffic, potential for large scale acquisition of aircrafts by the airlines and substantial investment options Indian civil aviation market offers tremendous opportunities for foreign investors to invest in India. This show shall build on the results of previous shows with the goal of increasing international collaboration in the civil aviation.

Earlier welcoming the august gathering, Mr. Sidharth Birla, President FICCI, bringing out the anomalies of a tough tax regime said, “state surcharges on aviation Turbine fuel vary widely from 4% to 30% making cost of ATF in India 60% higher than international levels, though the solutions are obvious, Service Tax on air tickets and discriminatory tax policies for India MRO players must be addressed.†For enhancing regional connectivity, financial viability of airports in Tier -2 and 3- cities, he called upon to look at an “Essential Air Services Fund’ as a support mechanism. He further said significant opportunities exist for promoting aircraft and related manufacturing in the country that can be encouraged through tax incentives to aerospace industry and speedy time bound licensing procedures. He further congratulated the government to bring a bill to constitute an independent Civil Aviation Authority that will have autonomy in administering aviation safety and have oversight over air transport operators, airport operators and related issues.

The chief guest, Governor of AP, Mr. E.S Lakshmi Narasimhan assured the gathering that “should you choose to tap into the aviation potential of AP you would be our guest and partners in developmentâ€. Talking about India’s First Aerospace Special Economic Zone 15kms from Rajiv Gandhi International airport at Hyderabad offers a wide range to meet the needs of aerospace, nuclear space and defense sectors. He further said “the civil aviation policy of AP focuses on the development of non-hub airports across the province by cashing on the huge infrastructure base built over the years, to make them new magnets of investment for development and to give a fillip to tourism.â€

Earlier Mr. Ashok Lavasa, Secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation in his opening remarks  said, ‘ Civil aviation Industry in India is experiencing a new era of expansion driven by factors such as Low Cost Carriers (LCC), modern airports, FDI in domestic airlines, cutting edge Information Technology interventions, growing emphasis on regional connectivity, increasing involvement of of private participation under PPP and the policy of developing green field airports. This surge has fuelled the demand for support services. In addition to the Greenfield airports at Navi Mumbai, Goa, Kannur and Kushinagar, Airport Authority of India has indentified six airports for private management under the PPP route following the successful implementation of such models in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad and Cochin.

He further said the India Aviation Show is an essential part of our vision for India’s aviation industry and would provide significant business opportunities for the participants in the world’s fastest growing aviation market. I am confident that India Aviation Show as a showcase of latest technologies, innovative ideas, best practices and partnership strategies would enable the participants to glean the opportunities in the aviation sector.

H.E. Francois Richer, Ambassador of France the Guest Country and H.E. Leocadia I. Zak, Director, U.S. Trade and Development Agency the partner country  for the show also addressed the gathering  on the occasion.

Some of the other highlights of the day were spectacular display of aerobatics by Mark Jefferies Air Shows and Display Aerobatics, UK  which is being held twice daily from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM and again from 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm upto 16th march 2014. As many as 18 aircraft, including business jets, helicopters, commercial aircraft, cargo aircraft, motor gliders and aircraft machinery including the largest passenger aircraft Airbus-380, display of Air India’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner and participation of more than 250 exhibitors by the global bigwigs of the aviation industry   are some of the other highlights of this five day event, which is open to only business visitors from 12th to 14th and to the public on 15th and 16th March. CEOs of leading companies interacted with the Secretary Aviation and discussed on ways to make air connectivity sustainable at the CEO’s conference. A video conference with American companies was held, while a special session on helicopters focused on promoting heli-tourism and emergency medical services. There would be an ‘aviation theatre’ to screen films on all the five days of the show.