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(Source: The Financial Express)

Made in India aircraft soon? High-level panel set up to explore aircraft building under Make In India

India’s dream of getting its own indigenously made aircraft has finally got a leg up with the government setting up a task force to draw a roadmap, providing a major boost to PM Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ programme.

The high-level task force will formulate a plan for the development of indigenous civilian aircraft, helicopters and associated aviation equipment under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, encouraging aircraft makers to manufacture in the country.

The project will also help in promoting India as an important investment destination and global hub for manufacturing, designing and innovation, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said yesterday.

“This is an idea which will actually change the manufacturing infrastructure,” Suresh Prabhu said in the Rajya Sabha. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will soon be set up for the project, which entails an investment of Rs 10,000 crore.

Suresh Prabhu will head the task force, which consists of 106 people from companies and organisations including Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, National Aerospace Laboratories, ADF and DRDO for appraisal. A Committee of Secretaries will take the decision on forming an SPV.

The panel has started working on the project and has already taken several steps, said Suresh Prabhu, adding that enough financial and administrative powers may be sought for the SPV to implement the project.

He added that the government’s focus is not only manufacturing through this project, but it also wants to encourage anyone who has manufacturing capabilities to manufacture aircraft so that the gap that exists between the demand and supply can be filled.

In June, Suresh Prabhu asked to Airbus and Boeing Co, in a series of messages on Twitter, to participate in the push, while highlighting the growth potential of the booming Indian aviation market. He also said in one of the tweets that the Indian economy needs over 1,000 passenger planes and “many more” cargo planes.

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