Karnataka woos aerospace firms for MRO in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Dec 1 (IANS) Karnataka on Tuesday exhorted global aerospace firms to set up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in the Aerospace Park near the international airport on the city’s outskirts.

“In the 1,000-acre Aerospace Park at Devanahalli, we have a special economic zone (SEZ) for setting up aerospace related facilities, including an MRO to capitalise on the growing civil aviation traffic at the adjacent international airport,” state’s Principal Secretary, Infrastructure Development, Vandita Sharma said here.

As the third busiest airport in the country after New Delhi and Mumbai, the Kempe Gowda international airport has about 450 passenger and cargo aircraft movements daily through the year.

“With domestic and international passenger traffic projected to touch 18 million per annum by 2020 from 15 million annum in 2015, potential for aircraft service, including MRO is immense, as the airport is a strategic hub for South Asia,” Sharma said at the fourth edition of the ‘India MRO -Aerospace & Defence’ meet.

The Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) consortium is soon building the second terminal and a second runway to expand the facilities in and around the airport to meet its growing needs for the next decade.

The state and central governments are partners in the consortium with 13 percent each equity stake, while the G.V.K. Reddy-led private firms, including L&T, Zurich Airport and Siemens hold the majority (74 percent) stake.

The state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), which has its own airport in the city’s eastern suburb, with a dedicated runway, an air traffic control and an MRO facility for military aircraft and helicopters, also offered to service civilian aircraft.

“We are ready to offer our excellent aviation facilities and domain expertise to maintain, repair and overhaul any type of passenger and cargo aircraft, including narrow and wide-bodied jets, fixed and rotary-winged choppers of domestic and international carries,” HAL’s Bengaluru complex chief executive R. Kaveri Ranganathan said at the two-day conference.

According to global audit firm KPMG, the MRO business in the Indian sub-continent is projected to grow to $2 billion by 2020 from $700 million in 2015, as the passenger aircraft fleet size is expected to be about 1,000 in 2020 from 700 currently, including 400 scheduled type.

In the absence of a hi-tech MRO facility in the country for private carriers, airlines have been sending their aircraft to Sri Lanka, Singapore or Dubai, while national carrier Air India has its dedicated service facility in Mumbai, Nagpur and Hyderabad.

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