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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

Top US companies eager to invest in India's aviation sector

PTI  Washington, October 31, 2013
First Published: 08:51 IST(31/10/2013) | Last Updated: 09:00 IST(31/10/2013)

Top US companies are eager to invest in various sections of India's booming aviation sector -- from security to building new airports -- with recent changes in regulatory environment "encouraging" them, American officials said.

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Though top Obama administration officials urged the Indian government to address its concerns with regard to some of the key policy issues, it also praised the recent measures taken by Delhi.

"Indian aviation is experiencing dramatic growth across the board, from the emergence of new carriers to a growing middle class ready to take travel by air. Recent changes to regulatory environment are another encouraging sign," US transportation secretary Anthony Fox said at the India-US Aviation Summit on Wednesday.

"Those changes send a signal to private industry that the Indian government increasingly recognises the needs and interests of business," Fox said.

Director of US trade and development agency (USTDA) Leocadia I Zak said the US-India Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP) is well-positioned to foster growth in the aviation market and to facilitate the changes needed to support that growth.

"The government of India recognises that growth in the aviation sector means broader growth across the economy, and has already taken steps to enable investment and revise regulations. Last year, the government approved higher levels of foreign investment in Indian airlines," she said.

"As a result, new investments have recently been announced in both existing and new carriers. The Indian government has also declared its intent to change its international flight regulations to allow more Indian carriers to enter international service," Zak said.

"USTDA and the ACP have also sought to increase technical capacity through training and the sharing of best practices.

One of the ACP's first activities was an innovative training programme that focused on improving high-density air traffic management operations at several Indian airports," Zak said.

USTDA has also worked with its ACP members to assist India in implementing several innovative technologies, she added.


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