Siddaramaiah woos US aerospace firms to ‘Make in Karnataka’


Bengaluru: Pitching for investments to boost the state’s growth story, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday urged US aerospace firms to make products and components for domestic and global markets in Karnataka.

“I appeal to this august gathering of industry to invest in the aerospace sector and be part of ‘Make in Karnataka’,” Siddaramiah said at the US-India aviation summit here.

Noting that Bengaluru was India’s aerospace hub with 65 percent of the country’s investment in the sector, the chief minister said Karnataka was the first state to have an aerospace policy (2013-2023) to attract investments and new technologies.

“The growth potential of aerospace and defence industry has attracted global majors like Boeing, Honeywell, Airbus, EADS, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce and UTC Aerospace to set up their engineering and design services in this tech hub,” Siddaramaiah told at least 300 delegates participating in the three-day event.

Assuring the prospective firms of the state government’s support to facilitate their investments with incentives, Siddaramaiah said a dedicated Aerospace Park has been formed near the Bengaluru international airport at Devanahalli on 984 acres of land, with a special economic zone (SEZ) and the country’s first aerospace SEZ at Belagavi in the state’s northern region, about 500 km from Bengaluru.

Home to the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and other major defence units such as Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Bengaluru has pioneered the growth of the aerospace industry across the country.

“Growth potential of our aerospace and defence industry is making global majors to set up their subsidiaries in India and collaborate with our industry for joint ventures, as the defence offset policy offers a huge opportunity to make for us and exports,” Siddaramaiah pointed out.

In this context, the chief minister said Maintenance, Repairs and Operations (MRO) segment in the civil aviation sector was estimated to be Rs.1,300 crore by 2020.

“Given the labour-intensive nature of MRO, leading MRO firms, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and international airlines are looking forward to outsource this work to Indian firms, as they are being done outside the country in Dubai, Sri Lanka and Singapore,” Siddaramaiah added.

The state has recently launched e-udyami, an online one-stop shop which allows investors to apply for approvals and monitor status of their projects’ implementation.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and US Ambassador to India Richard Verma addressed the gathering at the inaugural session.

Sponsored by the US Trade and Development Agency in partnership with the central government, the summit is meant to assist Indian stakeholders to identify and specify US technology and practices to suit their expansion and modernisation needs.

The Indian civil aviation market is expected to be $110 billion by 2020, as the country is projected to become the world’s third largest aviation market, handling 336 million domestic and 85 million international passengers.

The summit is also aimed at promoting sale of US equipment and services in a competitive Indian aviation market.