“India aiming to be among top five aviation markets”

Hyderabad: Indian Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Tuesday said his ministry was taking steps to make India one of the top five civil aviation markets in the world.

Inaugurating a Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad near here, he said the ministry was not only taking steps to make flying safer but was also charting growth plan by opening new airports in underserved regions.

The minister noted that India is currently the ninth largest aviation market in the world and that the number of passengers is to cross 300 million mark by 2020.

Ajit Singh also said the aviation industry all over the world, especially in India, was under economic pressure.

The minister said the MRO facility would greatly benefit the airlines in India which were sending their aircrafts to Gulf or South East Asian countries for maintenance and repair.

Minister for Petroleum S. Jaipal Reddy described MRO facility as another landmark in Hyderabad.

The world-class MRO facility with an investment of Rs.350 crore has been set up by MAS GMR Aero Technic Limited (MGAT), a subsidiary of MAS GMR Aerospace Engineering Company Limited (MGAE).

MGAE is a 50:50 joint venture partnership between Malaysian Aerospace Engineering Sdn. Bhd. (MAE) and GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL).

Equipped with three hangars, the facility will provide full aircraft base maintenance service infrastructure in India, and will cater to the maintenance needs of the regional and global airline customers.

Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Aerospace Engineering (MAE), Azhari Mohd Dahlan said the joint venture showcases the excellent bilateral trade relations between India and Malaysia whilst providing an important avenue for MAE to expand its operations internationally.

G.M. Rao, Group Chairman of GMR Group said both Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have certified the facility.

“We will soon be applying for certification by Federal Aviation Administration of the United States,” he said.

“Airline operators in this part of the world can reduce up to 30 per cent on their fleet repair and maintenance costs. At the same time, our nation can earn and save precious foreign exchange,” he added.