Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said on Tuesday that India will make efforts to get Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) US, in the near future.
Speaking at the inauguration of the FAA-Asia Pacific Bilateral Partners’ Meet-2013 here, he said “in the last decade the domestic passenger traffic in India has grown by 160 per cent taking the country to the fourth place globally, after the US, China and Japan. Yet, India is still among the least penetrated markets, providing the civil aviation industry a great potential going forward.”
The global passenger traffic was estimated to touch 800 million by 2014. About 45 per cent of this or 360 million would be in the Asia Pacific route. “...The main focus in the Asia Pacific region will be India and China,” Singh said. The country was focused on civil aviation and that its policies like allowing 49 per cent FDI in the sector, creating a more efficient authority to replace the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) upgradation of airports and so on were indicative of the same. “The move to get Dhruv certified is also in line with this strategy,” he said.
Singh said a mechanism had to be evolved to benefit the bilateral countries involved in such agreements (with FAA, which India has signed recently) so as to boost trade of aeronautical parts.
Chairman of HAL R K Tyagi said the Defence PSU haD made a beginning with the civil variant of Dhruv, moving from its core focus of military aviation. “We now propose to play a leading role in India’s national civil aircraft development programme as we have dedicated facilities at our transport division in Kanpur,” he said.
The three-day meet is being organised by the DGCA with the main focus on aircraft certification. “This provides an opportunity for partner civil aviation authorities (CAAs) from 11 countries to share methods for strengthening bilateral airworthiness relationships through enhanced resource sharing, communications and procedural improvements,” a DGCA official said.
Apart from the delegates from the US, the participating Asia-Pacific countries include Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and India.