Operators flying some 300 helicopters in India say regulatory issues are stifling an industry that has enormous potential for expansion. Suffocating restrictions, say operators, hound them at every step, starting with brutal import taxes.
Eurocopter delivered the 1,000th Dauphin medium twin in late April, to India-based Pawan Hans Helicopters. The aircraft, an AS365N3, was handed over in an offshore configuration. The global Dauphin fleet, in service with 300 customers, has accumulated 5.1 million flight hours. Eurocopter is working on a new version, the AS365N3e, with deliveries expected to begin in late 2013.
India’s growing helicopter market is fueling the need for helicopter MRO services, and Indian companies are stepping in to meet the demand.
Eurocopter this week delivered the 1,000th Dauphin medium twin, with the milestone copy going to India-based Pawan Hans Helicopters. The aircraft, an AS365N3, was handed over in an offshore configuration. Pawan Hans is the world’s largest civil operator of the model, with a fleet of 35 Dauphins.
Eurocopter and Pawan Hans Helicopters, an India-based operator, have signed two memoranda of understanding to create one training and one maintenance, repair and overhaul joint venture in the country this year. The MRO facility will be located “in a key Indian metro” and serve the local fleet of Dauphins. Pawan Hans is Eurocopter’s largest single customer in India and an approved Dauphin maintenance center. R.K.
India has introduced dedicated visual flight route (VFR) corridors for helicopters at the Delhi and Mumbai airports to enhance capacity and efficiency of rotorcraft operations. Helicopter operators, which have been delayed by congestion at the nation’s large airports, have been demanding this change for some time.
Eurocopter and Pawan Hans Helicopters, the largest civil helicopter operator in India, have entered into two joint ventures for maintenance, repair and overhaul and training. Under the terms of the first joint venture, Eurocopter and Pawan Hans will establish an MRO facility in a key Indian metro to better serve the Dauphin fleet being operated in India. The second joint venture will set up a training center to support Indian needs. R.K.
India’s Pawan Hans Helicopters (PHHL), a government enterprise that claims to be the largest helicopter operator in the country’s civil and parapublic market, signed a $9.8 million contract for three AS 350B3 Ecureuils in June.
Chairman and managing director R. K. Tyagi told AIN the company expects delivery of the helicopters around August or September next year.