Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has set its eyes on the civil aviation sector.

Addressing reporters at the Aero India 2013, HAL Chairman R. K. Tyagi said, “After catering to defence sector needs all these years, now we are exploring civilian sector through civil aviation.”

“The company through its vision 2020, as recommended by Dr Kelkar, is taking the lead to peruse it with private participation,” he added.

HAL is looking at civil aviation’s engine construction, design and development business in addition to MRO opportunities.

With an investment of Rs 7,500 crore and through the active participation of the private sector, HAL is planning to take the lead to be the lead project management group or consortium leader, said Tyagi.

“Immediate priority for us is to build a 90-seater regional aircraft with private participation under a joint venture model,” he added.

HAL is planning to exploit the experience of designing, developing and manufacturing Dornier aircrafts for the civil aviation programme.

The company plans an investment of Rs 500 crore to spearhead its UAV business initiatives, he said. “We have created a special UAV business group“.

The company is now strategising to make an investment of Rs 19,000 crore by 2020 to create infrastructure and facilities for undertaking various programmes, Tyagi said.

HAL has achieved a sales turnover of Rs 14,204 crore in FY 2011-12, registering a growth of 8 per cent over previous year.

Bangalore’s HAL airport located in Indiranagar-Domlur area is suitable for short-haul flights like Bangalore-Chennai, Bangalore-Hyderabad and Bangalore-Kochi, said Tyagi.

“The airport should supplement the current BIAL airport located at Devanahalli. We have submitted a proposal to the civil aviation ministry few months ago to reopen the airport,” he added.

HAL Airport was closed in 2008 to give adequate capacity and volume to BIAL airport.

“But due to rapid growth of BIAL airport, the current capacity is 12 million passengers per annum and is expected to touch 17 million passengers per annum when expansion is complete,” he explained.

“By the next round of Aero India, some useful solution will be found for the second airport in Bangalore,” he added.

Aviation University

“To augment manpower requirement, we have submitted a plan to set up ‘teaching institutions.’ The proposal is being discussed with IIT Kanpur and Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) Bangalore, among others,” the HAL Chairman said.

Tyagi said the Director-General of Civil Aviation had yesterday handed over civil certification to HAL Ozar airport, Nashik, which means it has been declared as an ‘alternate’ airport to Mumbai.

anil.u@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 7, 2013)
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