A strategic meet on ‘Regional Civil Aircraft’ with an aim to kick-start the process to build the first made-in-India civil aircraft was held under the leadership of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). Addressing the meet, Mr Ajay Shankar, Member Secretary, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) said, “Given the skill-set and the cost advantage the country has, the dream project should turn into reality by 2020-22.” He called upon over 100 potential business partners who took part in the meet to actively participate in the brain-storming session and discuss the challenges and risks involved. “We can surprise ourselves and the world by rolling-out a medium-range civil aircraft”, he added.
Mr RK Tyagi, Chairman, HAL, in his address, pointed out that India must have such an aircraft considering the fact that it is world’s ninth-largest market and will be third by 2020. “It is therefore important to have our own aircraft. HAL and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) have taken the lead to build this aircraft on the PPP model”, he said. A Special Purpose Vehicle is being formed by HAL and NAL to steer this project. The purpose of this meet is to ensure inclusive involvement of all the potential business entities right from the beginning,” he added. Several senior executives from leading Indian and overseas companies such as GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney, Eaton, Mahendra, Titan and others shared their views and evinced confidence in the success of this programme.