Govt wants to make India hub of aircraft maintainance, repair biz
The airline operators in India are almost fully dependent on foreign countries for the maintenance of their aircraft due to lack of adequate capacity. According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, over 90 per cent of the Rs 5,000 crore plane maintenance businesses goes to countries like Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, and UAE.
Presently, there are 16 airlines registered with Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which have 472 registered aircrafts.
"An aircraft needs two types of maintenance services – maintenance-cum-repair and overhaul. The overhaul facility is costly which is mainly outsourced," said a senior officer of DGCA, the regulator of civil aviation sector in India.
The regulator also conducts surveillance checks of aircrafts and recommends their overhaul by DGCA-approved Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) operators in various countries.
"Out of 109 MROs in the country, only seven have the facility for carrying out overhaul of planes. We have introduced several initiatives to increase our capacity and save foreign currency," said Jayant Sinha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation.
According to the Ministry for Civil Aviation, the MRO business of Indian carriers was around Rs 5,000 crore in 2015-16 out of which around 90 percent was spent outside India.
"There are challenges regarding skills but the government is committed to make India an MRO hub in Asia," added Sinha.
The minister claimed that the government has provided several tax concessions to MRO service providers in the country for 2016-17, which includes waiving off of customs duty on tools and tool-kits, three years duty free parts, facility for free parking of the aircrafts for six months.