Rajasthan to explore possibilities of aircraft MROs to boost economy
The Rajasthan government is exploring possibilities in new sectors such as maintenance, repair and overhauling (MRO) of aircraft to boost the state’s economy, officials said.
The government has directed the industries department to study possibilities of MRO in the state following Chief Secretary D B Gupta’s meeting with various departments on Tuesday to discuss ways to boost the economy and provide employment.
In wake of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package recently announced by the Centre to kickstart the economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Rajasthan is keen on new sectors such as MROs.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently said that steps will be taken to make the country a hub for MRO of aircraft.
“Rajasthan has tremendous potential in this area. We have the required infrastructure with 19 state owned airstrips,” said Kesari Singh, Director Aviation department.
A senior official, who participated in the meeting on anonymity, said the meeting focused on how economy and employment can be boosted and in relation to aviation, it was exploring MROs and privatisation of airports.
He said Rajasthan has 32 air strips, 19 of which are state-owned, and rest is of air force and private. The state is coming out with a new aviation policy, which will cover MROs and aviation academy too. “Currently, there are around 4-5 MROs operational in India (Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore) but still aircraft are going to other countries such as Dubai, Singapore, France etc. Growth in aviation sector necessitates the development of adequate MRO facilities for aircraft. The state can facilitate and incentivise the proposal for setting up new MRO centres,” he said.
Around 60-70 flights operate daily from Rajasthan and if MRO is available then aircraft do not have to fly out and spend large sums. The MRO will not only generate employment but help in providing training to students of aeronautic engineering, he said.
The official said the state government in recent years has worked on developing airstrips in the state and almost all are capable of handling big planes. “Jhalawar airport is bigger than Jaipur, and there big planes such as Airbus can land. Earlier, there were discussions to develop MRO at Jhalawar. On the same lines, now dialogues could be held with stakeholders such as Airbus and Boeing,” he said.