Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nothing……..for business aviation, moans Business Aircraft Operators’ Association

Neelam Mathews
Oct 20, 2011
The newly formed Business Aircraft Operators’ Association (BAOA) with 39 members representing 65% of the general aviation fleet of over 500 aircraft in the country, says infrastructure remains a major hurdle for growth for the sector.

“There is no talk, no plan, no policy, no business aviation terminals, heliports, FBOs and limited parking and hangar space,” says Rohit Kapur, President, BAOA.

While Kapur acknowledges there have been changes in regulations in the past few years, some remain so restrictive, cumbersome and time consuming that they take away the reason to use a business jet.
It may sound ludicrous to some that in India it takes a week to clear landing of a business jet, which takes away the flexibility of using a business jet. “We know there are security concerns, but you can’t restrict growth under the garb of security,” adds Kapur.

BAOA is looking at making a presentation to the government to ask to be part of the new policy and also address all its problems.

On MROs, BAOA has definite views. “Rules and regulations are making it difficult for us to make a venture profitable. Qualified engineers the world over are trained and licensed. Here in India for every model, you require type training. Also it is impossible for us to stock spares as they end up costing 30% extra because of taxes. So, that revenue stream is closed.”

“Look at Singapore and Middle East. Their fleets are smaller than that of India, but it works (because of policies ) there,”  says  Karan Singh, MD of BAOA.

So, has India missed the bus?

“Perhaps for now…but we won’t let it go,” says Kapur.

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