Hyderabad: Industries and IT Minister K T Rama Rao on Thursday disclosed that Telangana was planning to establish a world class aerospace university in partnership with the industry and global universities.
Speaking at the curtainraiser event for Wings India 2020 on New Delhi today, the Minister also announced that efforts were on to make Warangal airport functional to help boost regional air transport, support the mega Textile Park and the IT hub launched in Warangal recently. Similarly, a heliport was also being planned at the Warangal airport.
Wings India 2020 is an international exhibition and conference on civil aviation sector slated to be held in Hyderabad in March. Global Aviation Summit, which used to be hosted in Mumbai, is also being organised in Hyderabad this year, the Minister said.
During his speech, KT Rama Rao underlined the phenomenal growth of Telangana on all parameters and said the State had emerged as the most exciting and well-supported Aviation and Aerospace ecosystem in India. Dwelling at length on the rapid progress achieved by Telangana in various fields, especially those connected to fields of aviation, drones, aerospace and defence. He said Telangana achieved a stupendous 14.9 per ent GSDP growth in 2018-19 and the State stood at the top on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings two years in a row. Telangana’s industrial policy TS i-Pass was rated as the best in the country and the cosmopolitan city offered best infrastructure and a pleasant weather almost throughout the year.
Giving on overview of the initiatives that helped the State carve itself a niche, Rama Rao pointed out that Aviation and Aerospace was a thrust sector for Telangana. During the last edition of Wings 2018, Telangana won the Best State Award for the State with most progressive outlook in the Sector. He reminded the participants that Telangana was one among the first States slash the VAT on ATF from 16% to 1% setting an example for other States.
This decision gave a significant boost to regional airline industry, prompting leading operators such as Spice jet and Indigo to expand their operational base in Hyderabad.
The State’s primary airport, the GMR Rajiv Gandhi International Airport was adjudged the Best Airport in its class and had won the awards for the Best Regional Airport and the Best Airport Staff Service, in the Skytrax
World Airport Awards in 2019. He pointed out that the State was now planning to re-activate old airports, create green-field airports and establish a chain of heliports to connect the remote parts and sought Centre’s funding support for creating infrastructure. These initiatives would help connect distant districts like Adilabad and also allow easy access to high footfall Tourist destinations such as Yadadri. Efforts were also on the way to Warangal airport functional. This could boost regional air transport and support the Mega Textile Park and the Information technology hub launched in Warangal. “We also intend to open a Heliport in Warangal Airport on subsidy basis”, he disclosed.
In addition to this, a greenfield airport was being planned at Kothagudam connecting the coal belt, mines and power sector ecosystem around Khammam district. An airport is also proposed at Jakranpally in Nizamabad to support the upcoming Pharma City NIMZ. The State was focussing on Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) as it provided a great opportunity for investment and high value employment creation besides helping Hyderabd turn into a hub for Airline and Engine MROs activities. Telangana currently has two MROs operated by GMR and Air India. Various OEMs and operators vouchsafe for the best infrastructure and ecosystem and skill base for MROs in India.
First State with drone policy
K T Rama Rao pointed out that Telangana was the first State to come up with its own Drone policy to develop an ecosystem for the drone/ UAV industry. The government was actively working with start-ups and industry partners to pilot drone use-cases in Healthcare, Agriculture, Mining, Law enforcement etc. The State has envisioned Telangana Drone city to support Drone testing, skilling R&D and Commercialisation.
He drew the attention of the participants to the growth in Aerospace sector achieved in Telangana in the past five years and said Hyderabad emerged as the most preferred aerospace manufacturing destination in India for Global OEMs. Leading Aerospace majors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, GE, Safran, Rafael, Elbit have established their mega manufacturing facilities in Hyderabad. Amongst leading Indian players, TATA group did more than 90% of their Aerospace manufacturing from Hyderabad. Adani Group and Kalyani Group were also expanding their Aerospace and allied projects in Telangana. “We also have a strong local private industry with over 25 large companies and over 1,000 MSMEs and many of them are already integrated to global OEM supply chains”, the minister recounted.
Four dedicated aerospace parks
On the infrastructure front, he said Telangana had four dedicated Aerospace parks, over 50 general engineering parks to cater to precision engineering industry. Besides this various Electronics Manufacturing Clusters, Hardware parks and Technology SEZs also host a large number of Aerospace firms.
The biggest strength of Hyderabad aerospace ecosystem, was the availability of highly skilled and industry ready workforce. To make world class skilling accessible at affordable rates, the State partnered with global institutions.
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (US), Cranfield University (UK) and Aerocampus Aquitaine (France) offer need-based Aerospace certification courses in Hyderabad at relatively affordable rates. State run skilling agency – Telangana Academy of Skill and Knowledge (TASK) runs various job oriented aerospace skilling programmes.