By Staff Writer | February 1, 2008
Indian officials has deferred a decision on raising the cap on foreign direct investment in the civil aviation sector, according to media reports from India.
The officials have been considering a proposal by the Civil Aviation Ministry to raise the limit, a step that many industry officials believe essential to promoting growth of India’s aviation industry. The ministry is calling for raising the limit from 49 percent to 74 percent for non-scheduled airlines, chartered, and cargo carriers.
Ministry officials also have proposed raise the foreign direct investment cap for ground handling services to 74 percent and to 100 percent for companies setting up maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facilities and flight and technical training institutions, as well as in helicopter and sea-plane services.
The civil aviation minister, Praful Patel, is a vocal advocate of expanding helicopter operations throughout India, including establishing helicopter-based emergency medical services operations. Such operations only recently began in India, and are running on a very limited basis.
India’s offshore oil and gas sector also is booming and requires more helicopter support.
A number of entities want to establish maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities in India, including major ones like Boeing and Airbus.
India’s government also wants to make the nation a regional hub for maintenance, repair, and overhaul services.