Aerospace Park awaits cluster firms to set up shop

Bangalore’s 980-acre aerospace park at Devanahalli, North Bangalore, will be full (with companies) only by 2015-beginning, due to land disputes and wait for cluster companies to take up space.

“A lot of companies are showing interest. We expect the park to be full by the year-end. This is because some patches of land are under dispute. Clearing these takes time. We should be through by November-December. The full-scale production by companies will take off by year-end. We are keen on cluster companies coming to the park, which is why we are waiting for some good proposals,” official sources said.
Forty-seven companies have been allotted land and 17 have taken possession.

Five companies have begun construction work. Wipro and Starrag India Limited have already set up base and commenced production. Work on a government tool room training centre will begin, while work on water pipelines and electricity lines is in progress. “We have no problems in companies approaching us. Even if it is taking time, we will be well-placed soon and see good cluster development in the park,” officials said.

This January and February marks one year of Wipro and Starrag India having commenced production. Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, global hydraulics business of Wipro, runs an aerospace actuator manufacturing facility in the special economic zone.This is first such facility in India. In the first phase, the plant, set up on a 7.2 acre campus with initial investment of Rs 65 crore, will have capacity to produce 2,000 actuators a year and will be scaled up to 8,000 actuators a year. Industry estimates that global actuator systems market is around $3 billion.

Aerospace actuators, which are motors that help things move, have many applications in an aircraft, including landing gear, flight control systems, engines and utilities. In May 2011, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering signed an agreement with Spanish company CESA (Compania Espanola de Sistemas Aeronauticos SA), a subsidiary of EADS, for manufacture of precision engineering components. The pact involved transfer of technology and manufacturing aerospace actuators and related precision engineering components by Wipro for CESA.  A Wipro source said exports of components have begun with EADS providing the platform.

Starrag Group, headquartered in Switzerland, deals with manufacture of industrial machines that help in manufacture of components for automotive and mining sectors and precision engineering sector. In Bangalore, the subsidiary, known as Starrag India invested around Rs 60 crore to Rs 75 crore. It was readied in record time of 18 months. Jagadish A R, Senior Technical Manager said the company is focussed on components especially for the automotive sector. The company will export its components.

The aerospace park is part of aerospace policy unveiled at Aero India 2013. The policy is looking to make Karnataka hub of aerospace in India and get good percentage of Rs 5 lakh crore that wil be invested on aerospace and defence equipment over 10 years. The State hopes to attract investment amounting to Rs. 24,000 crore in the first phase (2013-18 ) and Rs 36,000 crore in the second phase (2018 to 2023). The government estimates 40,000 professionals may get employment in Phase 1, while it would be 60,000 in Phase II. The policy envisages establishment of clusters in the south, central and northern regions of the State.

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