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Chennai aerospace park to give fillip to industry

BS Reporter  |  Chennai 

The proposed aerospace park in Chennai will play a key role in the growing aerospace industry, according to a senior official who represents the global aerospace

The demand will mainly come from the US, which accounts for a little over 50 per cent of the market share globally.

The (CII) had submitted its proposal for setting up an aerospace park in Chennai. The proposed park would need 4,000 acre of land and attract an investment of around $10 billion. The park would create over 100,000 jobs.

The domestic aviation needs over 1,000 aircraft in the next 10 years and is expected to invest over $100 billion. This would be the right time for the aeropark.

It will have a design and engineering city, manufacturing centre, satellite MRO facility, R&D testing facility and infrastructure support systems, according to Subbu D Subramanian, chairman, Connect 2008, CII’s annual information, communication and technology (ICT ) event, and director and senior vice-president, Satyam Computer Services.

John W Douglass, former president and chief executive officer, Aerospace Industries Association of America, in his keynote address said around 300,000 workers were expected to retire from the US aerospace industry in the next 10 years and these jobs have to be filled. India is well positioned in this space, thanks to the number of educational institutes, he added.

Currently, there are about 700,000 workers employed in the US aerospace industry and the average age is more than 50 years. They account for one per cent of the US population and manufacture 50 per cent of the world’s fleet. The industry contributed $56 billion to the US economy, which is the single-largest by any industry.

There is a gap in supply and demand for manpower. Schools and other institutions are not producing enough number of graduates to fill the gap. While the rest of the world is progressing in education, the US is not doing so in knowledge, technology, maths and science areas.

India has a highly-educated population and they are highly competitive which can supply aero/mechanical engineers, software engineers, program managers, skilled trades, Douglass said.

In the US, air traffic system is 50 years old, which does not allow to increasing the capacity in the airports. There is a need for a new engineering system, for which the US government is talking to the Indian aviation ministry, he added.

According to the CII, aerospace industry spends $60 billion on engineering globally. Currently, India Inc accounts for less than 1 per cent of this market, as compared will 12 per cent overall off-shoring in engineering services.

First Published: Tue, September 16 2008. 00:00 IST