Neelam Mathews mathews.neelam@gmail.com

Neelam Mathews mathews.neelam@gmail.com
Articles
Air Works India Eyes More Commercial, Military MRO Deals

Sixty years since it was founded, Air Works India holds a 30-40% share of the general aviation MRO market across the country, but no, the company wants to expand that business and is eyeing up new opportunities in commercial – and perhaps even military – MRO and support work.

Top of the list is a pending certification from Dassault to work on the Falcon 900EX and its Enhanced Avionics System (EASy). If approval is received in time, the company hopes to make an announcement here at EBACE.

European Companies Peddle ETS Products To India

As the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) deadline for airline compliance in 2012 approaches, U.K. companies are offering India products and services related to the trading of emission reduction credits and investing in greenhouse gas abatement projects.

As of Jan. 1, 2012, all flights arriving at or departing from airports within the EU will be subject to the ETS. This means that by 2020 the CO2 emissions of those flights are to be reduced by at least 20% of their 1990 levels.

Philippine Airlines To Start Services To Delhi

As the Indian economy picks up, Philippine Airlines (PAL) is starting six weekly flights to Delhi, beginning March 28, Aviation Week has learned. Of the six flights, three will operate via Bangkok and three directly to Delhi.

This comes in the heels of PAL’s announcement that it will stop four weekly flights to and from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on April 2 after incurring losses on the sector.

PAL stopped flying to India more than five decades ago as part of then-President Ramon Magsaysay’s rural development focus.

SpiceJet Readies To Receive Q400s

India’s budget carrier SpiceJet by August will receive five of 15 Bombardier Q400s ordered last year. Its Q400 services will start in July.

The carrier will soon announce a base for the turboprops, says CEO Neil Raymond Mills, but he declined to give the location. 

An airline official told Aviation Week it was likely the base would be in Delhi or Hyderabad because parking at these airports is less congested than at other facilities.

Siemens PLM Steps Up Activities In India

Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Div. is accelerating its research & development (R&D) programs in India.

“Our R&D staff in Pune has more than doubled,” says Raj Khoshoo, vice president for strategic planning at Siemens PLM. “We now have 1,000 people working there. We are also increasing the spread from maintenance projects to product development.”

MMRCA Shortlist to Be Announced Early April

The shortlist for the six contenders for India’s Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) program is to be announced in the first week of April.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik had declared at Aero India on Feb. 10 that he was optimistic that price negotiations would start within a few weeks and a deal could be signed by September, “provided dissatisfied vendors do not put a spoke in the wheel and delay proceedings.”

India Updates Defense Procurement Policy

Another update to India’s new Defense Procurement Procedures (DPP 2011) is expected in the first week of April.

Major changes will involve the technology-transfer clause. The policy will include technologies listed by the Defense Research and Development Organization that will be accepted as offsets.

Currently, technology transfer from foreign vendors doing business with India is mandatory and cannot be charged for in India’s biggest defense procurement — the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) program to buy 126 fighters.

Air India Awards Contract To Pan Am International Flight Academy

Pan Am International Flight Academy has been awarded an approximately $5 million contract by Air India that includes training for 255 Boeing 737 pilots and 95 777 pilots.

The training will take place in Miami, according to Gregory Darrow, senior director of sales for Pan Am.

India Increases Defense Spending By 8.4%

India has allocated $44.4 billion to defense for the fiscal year beginning April 1, up by 8.4% from the current fiscal year.

Of this, defense services will receive $35.74 billion, which includes capital procurement of $15 billion, an increase of 13.75% over this year.

Air India To Join Star Alliance In June

Air India’s much-delayed entry into Star Alliance is expected to take place in June, as the international airline’s codes are now set to merge with those of domestic carrier Indian Airlines by monthend.

It has been a long road for Star Alliance and Air India, whose entry into Star has been postponed by information technology issues. Star Alliance CEO Jaan Albrecht told Aviation Week last fall that the airline would join in summer of 2011 (Aviation Daily, Oct. 4, 2010).

Business Aviation In India Calls For Infrastructure

While business aviation is emerging as a high-growth sector in India, the industry wants a new policy framework that will address issues related to infrastructure, safety and security, proponents told the recent Indian Business Aviation summit in Delhi.

Kingfisher Airlines To Start Flights To Maldives 

Kingfisher Airlines will start two flights a week March 17, each from Delhi and Mumbai to Gan International Airport in the Maldives, 900 km southwest of India.

Maldives has 1,190 islands of which 97 are island resorts.

Air India has a daily flight from Thiruvananthapuram and five weeklies from Bengaluru. While SriLankan Airlines connects many cities via Colombo to Male in Maldives, there is no other direct service by any Indian carrier.

India Ramps Up Astronaut Training Capability 

As India gears up for its first human spaceflight mission in 2017, work is ongoing at the Bengaluru-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine to upgrade facilities and equipment for training astronauts, including simulators and environmental chambers.

The institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which is outsourcing the training to it.

CAE Inaugurates New Aerospace And Defense Complex

Having already launched an independent aviation training center in India, Canada’s CAE has officially inaugurated its new aerospace and defense center close to Bengaluru International Airport.

In the 116,000-sq.-ft. complex, CAE designs and develops defense training systems and operates an engineering center of excellence where visual databases and other software components for CAE’s simulators are developed.

Indian UAV Industry Calls For Regulations

As air traffic growth in India puts pressure on available airspace, India’s unmanned aerial vehicle industry is calling for a centralized body to draft regulations and set standards for UAV systems.

“Though presentcurrently in India it isn’t a major issue, in the next five to six years as smaller systems take to the sky, we will need regulation, similar to [that] being drafted in the U.S. by the FAA,” says Avdhesh Khaitan, CEO of Kadet Defense Systems.

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