India’s government has taken steps to bring in both rotary-wing talent and equipment amid a larger plan to grow its aviation industry.
The country’s director general of Civil Aviation, M Sathiyavathy, said her agency plans to draw on outside experts to address an estimated four-month backlog of permit applications for non-scheduled helicopter operations, according to The Economic Times.
Separately, the Reserve Bank of India on Nov. 26 said it was easing financial restrictions on importing helicopters and other aircraft for scheduled and non-scheduled services. Previously, a bank could not clear advance payments of $50 million or less for imported aircraft until it ascertained that India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation, Director General of Civil Aviation (and other agencies specified by the country’s foreign trade policy) had approved the import deal.
Effective with the announcement, that policy was revised and banks no longer need to secure the civil aviation ministry’s advance approval.
The developments came as the Ministry of Civil Aviation reviewed stakeholder comments of its draft National Civil Aviation Policy, which was published Oct. 30, 2015. Though it focuses primarily on the airline industry, the policy aims to promote helicopter usage in India, which it says “currently has less than 300 civilian helicopters, as compared to Brazil, for example, that has over 1,300.”