Sunday, December 25, 2011

Indore: State keen on push to aviation sector. (India)

INDORE: The state government is keen to develop its aviation sector. As part of the move, the government has invited an expression of interest (EoI) for the purchase of mid-sized pure twin turbine jet for the state fleet. The state government will rope in a consultant to prepare a civil aviation plan to assess the growth of the sector in the state in the next ten years.

Talking to ToI, Deepak Khandekar, aviation secretary, said that the 10-year plan for aviation growth in the state was a part of the national aviation plan and we are working in tune with the government of India's plan for nationwide growth of the aviation industry.

"We are also looking at giving some concession to the industry in terms of reduction in sales tax, he said that we are still working them out. Though we have already received response of the EOI, which had been given by us for the same early this month, we are in the process of scrutinising them," said Khandekar.

Presently, the state has a Turbo Prop Super King Air B200, purchased from a US-based company, Raytheon in 2003, said a state government official on condition of anonymity. Unlike the existing aircraft, which has a seating capacity of seven passengers excluding two pilots, this time the government is scouting for a bigger aircraft. Currently, there are 21 airstrips in the state.

The idea behind the preparation of civil aviation plan for the state is to harness the growing demand for air connectivity in various states.

Moreover, the state government is actively considering the proposal to provide soft loans to promote expansion and upgrading of brownfield airports. The state can provide interest free soft loan, grants, additional land required for expansion of airports, power, water, security and prevention or removal of encroachment. The state may even set up an aviation university offering degrees and diplomas in aviation.

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