A Word from Editor-in-Chief

Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) or ‘Udan’ is a landmark policy and its vision is explained in the acronym wherein it means Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (the common man of the country will fly)

Issue: 10 / 2016By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

It is aptly called ‘Udan’, meaning flight. The recently announced Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) or Udan is all set to give wings to India’s aviation dreams, dreams of becoming one of the top three aviation markets in the world by 2030. Udan is a landmark policy and its vision is explained in the acronym wherein it means Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (the common man of the country will fly). The policy will most probably come into effect in January 2017 and will pave the way for transformational changes in India’s aviation landscape, with the hinterland getting connected to the burgeoning metros.

The Minister of Civil Aviation, P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, and his team at the Ministry deserve all the praise for their efforts in creating an enabling environment for the sector to flourish. The Minister has tweeted how the growth rates in civil aviation were encouraging and plans were afoot to keep the momentum going. RCS as well as the earlier announced National Civil Aviation Policy 2016 would eventually promote significant growth of the civil aviation sector first and also India’s economy. In line with this development, OEMs are already positioning themselves to tap the almost virgin markets. One of them is the Viking DHC-6 Twin Otter Series aircraft which is unmatched for its dependability and versatility and suitable to connect remote and regional areas of the country.

As mentioned the ecosystem is falling in place. The business aviation segment too will gain from this development. In 2016 year-to-date, business aviation shipments have been more or less flat, in case of turboprops and piston engines it was down, the hope is that in 2017 it would gradually pick up, driven by emerging markets and also some pro-business aviation decisions in the United States, the largest market for business aviation. To grow this segment, there has been a spurt of aviation consultancy firms and we have an interaction with a leading firm in India on how the concept is working in a challenging atmosphere. We have two OEMs, Gulfstream and Embraer, both making a case for expansion of the corporate jet market in India in the light of the policy changes that are taking place here and also the general ‘feel good’ economic environment. Embraer’s Claudio Camelier makes a pitch on the theme “No Plane, No Gain” while Gulfstream’s Jason Akovenko states that the policy changes in India will not have an immediate effect on business aviation, but as the airline passengers growth increases, then the appeal of private aviation will grow too.

Coming to military, we have extensive coverage of the 84th anniversary celebrations of the Indian Air Force (IAF) which is a force to reckon with. Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd) outlines the capabilities of the IAF and how the modernisation of the force is taking place. The speech of the IAF Chief on the occasion is truly inspiring and confidence-building among the forces.

In this issue, we have profiled Dr. Vivek Lall who has done us all proud by being one of the senior most people of Indian origin in the US to be holding a senior position in an aerospace and defence entity – General Atomics.

All this and more in this issue of SP’s Aviation. Happy reading!