“It is very much possible for large airplanes to be manufactured in India, although it will take a long time because the capital, skills and infrastructure requirement is huge,” US aviation giant Boeing said.
The aircraft maker also said that the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme has become a major incentive for the foreign investors, and every company wanted to be associated with it because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal involvement in the initiative.
Stating that India is on the right track, Dinesh Keskar, Senior Boeing Executive, said that the country and the companies in India would need to consistently develop the skill-set and other necessary requirements to get to the stage of making large planes.
“That will be a long time. Even China which is way ahead in manufacturing is still not doing it. It takes three things - a huge amount of capital, a highly skilled labour force and high-end facilities,” Mr.Keskar told.
“Boeing bets it is big every time, it builds a new plane. You need billions of dollars,” said Mr.Keskar, Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific and India Sales at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. He was at the Paris International Air Show, which concluded the previous weekend.
Explaining further, the aircraft industry veteran said, “You need an amazing amount of skilled labour who knows how to build different systems and integrate it all together. Today, there are only two companies, Boeing and Airbus, who know how to do this. Others are making smaller planes. So, money, skills and facilities are the three things we need.”
The Boeing executive said India has got the money and workforce, but no Indian firm has so far decided to do it. “Even the smaller airplanes are not being made so far. I think we should start with 50-seaters or 100-seaters and then look at the bigger ones. That is how it works,” he said.
Boeing’s arch rival Airbus India, Managing Director, Srinivasan Dwarkanath also said it was very much possible for India to manufacture large planes over the years.
Giving example of the proposed replacement for the Indian Air Force’s Avro aircraft fleet, he said “It would be totally made in India. I don’t see a reason why it (manufacturing of large aircraft) cannot happen in India,” said Dwarkanath, who was also present at the Air Show.
“With the sustained support of the government policies, and the government looking up to the private sector for advanced products and technology solutions, it should be able to manufacture, design and develop advanced technology over the foreseeable future,” Indian defence systems firm OIS, Chairman and Managing Director, Sanjay Bhandari said