A Word from Editor-in-Chief

Our valuable readers will notice that we have redesigned SP’s Aviation. We do believe that the new appearance of the magazine will appear to be much smarter, more readable and compact, and therefore interestingly informative

Issue: 1 / 2018By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

Perhaps the most important event for the nation in the recent past has been the unveiling of the Union Budget for the financial year 2018-19. This is an event of national concern since it affects every section of the society in the country including the Indian armed forces. The most notable impact of the budgetary allocation for defence would be on the ongoing process of its modernisation. In a write up in this issue of SP’s Aviation on the budget, Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh (Retd) has analysed its impact on the modernisation of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The author is of the view that given the marginal increment in the allocation for acquisition projects and the colossal backlog, there is little possibility of the modernisation process picking up any momentum. In fact the author sees the budgetary allocation for defence for the year 2018-19 as a “damper” for the process of modernisation of the IAF.

The Air Marshal has also analysed the state of Maintenance, Repair and Overall (MRO) and the new technologies such as 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence and E Maintenance Management Systems that are being developed to enable the MRO services to keep pace with the escalating demand from the field. The author is of the view that enhancing capabilities of the MRO segment of military aviation will go a long way towards improving the flight-line availability of military aviation platforms.

the flight-line availability of military aviation platforms. In this issue of the magazine, Rohit Srivastava has catalogued some of the major events during the year gone by, related to the regime of military aviation both in India and the world. However, as for military aviation in India, there is considerable backlog and much is still left to be done. We will look forward for a more promising year ahead! Rohit Srivastava also looks at the case for fitting the Jaguar fleet of the IAF with a more powerful engine as the fleet is still left with considerable airframe life. Unfortunately, the case appears to have got bogged down on account of the complexities of the Defence Procurement Procedure.

In the regime of civil aviation, John Slattery, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation, highlights a problem faced by the global civil aviation industry, that of shortage of pilots. The author is of the view that with the robust growth in air travel likely in the next two decades, the problem is likely to become more acute. Fortunately, the global airline industry is seized with this problem and has begun initiating measures to mitigate the gravity of the situation.

Writing about Regional Aviation in India, Arpita Kala looks at Captain Gopinath’s airline endeavour with the 19-seater Beechcraft 1900D to exploit opportunities in the Regional Connectivity Scheme as also the challenges that lie ahead for him. In the second article, Arpita Kala speaks of the positive impact on the Indian civil aviation industry of the Union Budget unveiled recently by the Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley. The author is of the view that while the prospects for Indian civil aviation are bright, the extremely slow progress in the new international airport project at Navi Mumbai is a matter of serious concern for the industry.

All this and more in this issue of SP’s Aviation. Welcome aboard and happy landing!

Jai Hind!