A Word from Editor-in-Chief

In his address, Chief of the Air Staff, traced the achievements of the Indian Air Force and the commitment and ethos of its personnel to render service towards achieving a selfreliant and a glorious nation

Issue: 10-2020By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

Despite the wide spread COVID-19 Pandemic, the Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 88th anniversary on October 8 this year with undiminished enthusiasm. The high point of the celebrations was the grand parade held at Air Force Station, Hindon, attended by senior functionaries of the Indian Armed Forces, Defence Attaches of friendly foreign countries as also a number of civilian dignitaries from the India Ministry of Defence. The parade was reviewed by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria. Highlight of the event was an impressive flying display by IAF aircraft as also by the skydiving team. Selected assets of the IAF were also on static display.

In his address on the occasion, the CAS traced the achievements of the IAF as also the commitment and ethos of its personnel to render service towards achieving a self-reliant and a glorious nation. The CAS also touched upon the challenges for the IAF. The contents of the address by the CAS as also a report on the event by Ayushee Chaudhary of SP Guide Publications, has been included in this issue of SP’s Aviation.

The visit to India on October 26 and 27 by US Defence Secretary Mark T. Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was able to raise the fourth and final pillar of foundation agreement called Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), over which India and US will be building a new structure of bilateral strategic partnership. During this third annual 2+2 dialogue, the defence establishments of the two nations showed that India and the US are now the latest strategic partners in letter and spirit. A detailed report by Ranjit Kumar on this historic visit has been included in this issue of SP’s Aviation.

The ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic across the globe has adversely impacted both domestic and international air travel. Sudhir S. Rajeshirke, Vice President – Sales, Arrow Aircraft Sales and Charters Pvt Ltd, is of the view that India needs to take advantage of this situation and now focus on building a robust business aviation ecosystem and create another parallel vibrant industry in the aviation sector. In this issue of the magazine, a detailed and an in depth analysis by Sudhir S. Rajeshirke on the opportunity for India that has now arisen to rethink and reinvent the business aviation industry in the country.

To do away with that single-layer perspective about business aviation, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), designed “No Plane No Gain”, a joint undertaking to educate the public on the importance of this segment of the civil aviation industry. An overview by Ayushee Chaudhary is included.

In a major boost to the Regional Connectivity Scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a seaplane service between the Statue of Unity near Kevadiya in Gujarat’s Narmada district and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad on October 31, 2020. The seaplane service is operated by SpiceJet’s subsidiary Spice Shuttle. Ajay Singh, SpiceJet Chairman, said that the seaplanes would help improve regional connectivity as it comes without the high cost of building airports and runways, thanks to the planes being able to take-off and land both on small water bodies and short airstrips. A report on the launch of this service is included in this issue.

All this and more in this issue of SP’s Aviation. We welcome you aboard and wish you many happy landings!

Jai Hind!