Infrastructure and regulatory issues continue to stifle general aviation in India, and for the first time in a decade the industry contracted by one percent last year, according to Rohit Kapur, president of the country’s Business Aviation Operators Association (BAOA).
Kapur told a press conference at this week’s India Aviation show in Hyderabad that 13 aircraft were imported into the country last year and 19 were sold.
The BAOA estimates the inventory values of GA aircraft in India to be around $2 billion. Noting that there has been a decline in industry projections, Kapur said, “In 2011 we predicted there would be 786 aircraft in the inventory [by 2013]. Unfortunately, we have not reached even half that number.”
Calling for a roadmap for general aviation, Kapur stressed the need for regulations that do not lump GA together with commercial aviation as they “have different needs.” Scathing in his comments, Kapur said GA infrastructure is virtually nonexistent in India, where there is a lack of heliports, FBOs, hangars and parking bays. “Airports consider us as an unwanted irritant,” he said.
Kapur said only 50 percent of heavy maintenance and almost 100 percent of engine repair work has to be sent outside the country. Most MRO operators with hangars on lease in Delhi and Mumbai have been given notice by airport developers to vacate the premises, offering no alternate sites.