Karnataka to have aerospace policy to woo investments


Bangalore: The Karnataka government is formulating an aerospace policy to attract global investments and make Banagalore a major aerospace hub in south Asia, a senior official said Friday.

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“We are soon coming out with an aerospace policy, a first of its kind in the country, to facilitate global aerospace majors and associated industries to set up their facilities in the proposed aerospace park near the international airport at Devanahalli, about 40 km from Bangalore,” Principal Secretary, Industry, M.N. Vidyashankar said at a conference here.

Besides being the country’s IT hub, Bangalore has emerged as a major centre for aerospace industries with the presence of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) and a host of aeronautical research and development (R&D) organisations.

“In addition, American, European and British aerospace majors have also set up their Indian subsidiaries in the city to develop sub-systems, components, aero engines and software products for avionics used for military and civilian aircraft,” Vidyashankar told about 500 delegates participating in the two-day annual conference of the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) India here.

The US-based BICSI is a professional association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry.

Asserting that the upcoming aerospace park had a potential to attract a whopping $10 billion investments from global and domestic players in the industry, Vidyashankar said aerospace majors such as Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer have evinced interest to take up space for setting up their India facilities.

“Around 36 percent of the 29,000 components used in Boeing’s latest passenger jet Dreamliner are sourced from Bangalore. The park has potential to emerge as an aerospace industry cluster (Vayu) with an ecosystem to generate direct jobs to 242,000 people and house domestic and overseas firms in an integrated space with world class infrastructure facilities,” he said.

The state government has signed an agreement in June with the leading infrastructure developer Sun Forest City Ventures Ltd to build the mega park in about 1,000 acres, with an upfront investment of Rs.10,000 crore ($1.8 billion) in three phases.

“We have identified the land and issued preliminary notification to farmers for acquisition of their lands at the prevalent market rate.

“The aerospace hub will complement the aerospace special economic zone (SEZ) being set up near the airport for the private sector, which will take advantage of the defence offset policy to manufacture and supply components and sub-assemblies,” Vidyashankar said.

Sun Forest City is a joint venture between the entrepreneurial venture capital and industrial group (Sun) and Forest City, a leading real estate enterprise in the US.

Manufacturers’ Association of Information Technology(MAIT) president Alok Bhardwaj said at the present rate of technology growth, India would be a net consumer of IT hardware and software with an estimated value of $400 billion in 2020 as against $50 billion in 2012.

“The challenge will be to convert the huge potential into a value chain for intellectual property (IP), manufacturing and applications,” he said.