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Aero India 2023: Runway To A Billion Opportunities

Prof (Dr) DK Pandey  Mon, 06 Feb 2023   |  Reading Time: 5 minutes

The 14th Edition of five-day Aero India 2023, the biggest biennial air show and aviation expo in Asia, is scheduled from February 13, 2023 to February17, 2023at “Yelahanka Air Force Station” in Bengaluru, India’s information technology capital. Yelahanka has successfully hosted all editions since 1996. The first three days are earmarked for business travellers, and the final two days are open to the general public. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will officially launch the event. It is organised by the Defence Exhibition Organisation, Ministry of Defence. 731 exhibitors including 633 Indian and 98 foreign companies have registered, according to the Aero India website.[1] According to officials, PTI reported, Aero India has established itself as one of the world’s leading aerospace exhibitions, with 200,000 visitors from 25-plus countries.[2]

Aero India in 2021 was only scheduled for three days due to Covid-19 limitations. But over the course of five days, a sizeable crowd is anticipated at the air show this year.

The theme of Aero India 2023 is “The Runway to a Billion Opportunities”. According to Raksha Mantri (RM) Shri Rajnath Singh, the occasion is more than just an event. It will be the largest-ever Aero India, demonstrating the expanding strength of the defence and aerospace industries and the emergence of a powerful and independent New India.[3]

The aerospace sector has historically seen ground-breaking new technologies to enhance productivity, sustainability, and experience, and it is still undergoing substantial transformation. The goal of the Aero India event is to offer a special opportunity for the exchange of knowledge, concepts, and innovations in the aviation sector. Aero India will offer unique opportunities to brainstorm about the operational and business-related challenges faced by the aviation sector. It provides the platform for the exchange of concepts, developments, and cutting-edge developments in the aviation industry. In addition to advancing the domestic aviation industry, it will help the Make in India initiative to progress further. The event is envisaged to enhance investment, develop the manufacturing sector, assist businesses, recognise and advance technological advancements, and accelerate the nation’s economic expansion.[4]

Preparation for Aero India.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is in charge of organising Aeroindia-2023 on behalf of the Department of Defence Production, the Ministry of Defence, and the Government of India.  RM encouraged all stakeholders involved to make sure that the air show participants had fool proof arrangements. Although the air show and aviation expo are scheduled to begin on February 13, 2023, aircraft arrival for flying displays and static displays are scheduled to begin on February 7 and 11th respectively. A mandatory briefing for all flying display pilots will be held on all flying days. Flypast and Flying Display Practice Sector Familiarization/ Customer Demonstration Flight (CDF) Practice/ CDF is planned from February 8th through the 11th. The last aircraft departure is scheduled for February 19, 2023.[5]

Exhibitors Meeting Official Delegations/Indian Government Representatives. The organisers have made special arrangements to make it easier for exhibitors to interact, if required, with senior officials of the Government of India as well as official delegations from other nations on-site.

Adequate arrangements have been made for Foreign and domestic media to facilitate them to cover Aero India-2023. A Media and Convention centre is being erected to facilitate media activities. At the Media & Convention centre, exhibitors may offer press releases, images of their products, and other pertinent information for coverage.

Flight Safety.  All necessary measures have been taken to ensure a safe flying environment for the flying display. To obviate any possibility of an air accident or incident, IAF has exercised caution. The ‘Flying Manual’ has been issued to all stakeholders of the aero India event for clarity of planned air activity during the event.

One of the most frequent dangers to aircraft safety is bird strikes, which typically happen during take-off or landing. Airlines experience an average of 34 bird strikes per day, according to a study conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) using data from 91 countries. Every year, the damage exceeded $1 billion.[6] According to ‘DGCA data’, the number of bird hits increased from 1,152 in 2020 to 1,466 in 2021, a 27.25% increase over the previous year.[7] Airports make changes to the area around the runways to deter wildlife. In order to prevent a bird-hit during landing, ponds should be covered with netting, trees should be cut down, and food sources like seeds and bugs should be removed. To prevent birds from congregating close to airports, all possible measures, like – noise generators and recorded predator calls, are taken.

The India Pavilion will be showcasing the niche technologies developed by Startups and will provide a unique opportunity the understand about the iDEX challenges. Various briefings and meetings are planned with all stakeholders. While LCA Tejas will be a star attraction during the event, it will probably for the first time witness the F- 21 fighter from Lockheed Martin stable along with the Javelin missiles. Indian Armed Forces are going in a big way for unmanned platforms and all major UAV manufacturers are expected to show case their technologies and products in the five day expo. The usual flying demonstrations and aerobatic displays are expected to attract a huge audience during the public days.

In a Roundtable in Jan 2023, while addressing the Ambassadors of various nations, Honourable Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh said, “Besides the major entrepreneurs and investors in the defence and aerospace industries, the event will witness participation of prominent defence think-tanks and defence-related bodies from across the world. Aero India will, indeed, provide a unique opportunity for exchange of information, ideas and new technological developments in the aviation industry,”

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing facility – the country’s first in the private sector – in Vadodara, Gujarat on October 30, 2022. The facility will manufacture C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) through collaboration between Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain. The Prime Minister will also be dedicating a huge Helicopter Manufacturing facility of HAL to the nation in Tumakuru on 06th February. This dedicated new Greenfield facility is also Asia’s largest helicopter manufacturing facility. The project will enhance capacity and ecosystem to build more modern helicopters in the categories like- Light Utility Helicopter, Light Combat Helicopters, Civil Advanced Light Helicopters, and Indian Multi-role Helicopter. Aero India will surely propel India to a major aircraft manufacturing destination in the coming days.

Conclusion

The event presented by Aero India-2023 offers a chance to highlight India’s development of both Rotary and Fixed Wing platform ecosystem. There will also be information on how India is progressing in the areas of new technologies, unmanned aerial vehicles, and defence space. This event will give India’s efforts to become Atmanirbhar a boost. Additionally, the government’s goal of $5 billion in defence exports by 2025 will be reinforced.[8] Private companies will be able to communicate with one another to improve their defence industry trade and production capacities.

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[1]  “Schedule of Events”, Exhibitor Manual, AERO INDIA-2023, Jan 2023, https://aeroindia.gov.in/. Accessed on February 02, 2023.

[2] “Expleo to Exhibit at Aero India 2023”, PTI, Feb 01, 2023, https://www.ptinews.com/pti/Expleo-to-Exhibit-at-Aero-India-2023/59812.html. Accessed on February 02, 2023.

[3] “2023 edition will be the largest-ever Aero India, says Defence Minister”, The Hindu, January 26,2023, https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/2023-edition-will-be-the-largest-ever-aero-india-says-defence-minister/article66428621.ece. Accessed on February 02, 2023.

[4] Saumya Mishra, “Aero India 2023: Bengaluru set to host aero show from Feb 13 to 17; check tickets, prices here”, Times Now, January 20, 2023, https://www.timesnownews.com/bengaluru/aero-india-2023-bengaluru-set-to-host-aero-show-from-feb-13-to-17-check-tickets-prices-here-article-9716991. Accessed on February 02, 2023.

[5] “Programme of Activity”, Flying Manual, AERO INDIA-2023, Jan 2023,           https://aeroindia.gov.in/front/updated_assets/emai.pdf. Accessed on February 02, 2023.

[6] “Explained: What are bird strikes and how they affect aviation safety?”, First Post, June 20, 2022, https://www.firstpost.com/india/explained-what-are-bird-strikes-and-how-they-affect-aviation-safety-10814921.html#:~:text=As%20per%20International%20Civil%20Aviation,of%20around%20%241%20billion%20annually&text=Sunday%20was%20a%20bad%20day%20for%20flying%20in%20India. Accessed on Feb 03, 2023.

[7] “Why is there an increase in birds hits”, Times of India, June 21, 2023, https://timesofindia.indiatimes. com/business/india-business/why-is-there-an-increase-in-birds-hits/articleshow/92350065.cms. Accessed on Feb 03, 2023.

[8] “ India targeting $5 billon exports and $22 billon revenue in defence by 2025: MoD”, Live Mint, October 20, 2022, https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-targeting-5-billon-exports-and-22-billon-revenue-in-defence-by-2025-mod-11666268449623.html. Accessed on Feb 03, 2023.


Author
Prof (Dr) DK Pandey was Group Captain in India Air Force. He retired as Director, Joint Control and Analysis Center. Presently he is ‘Senior Research Fellow’ at Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS).

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POST COMMENTS (1)

Kalidan Singh

Mar 04, 2023
Opportunity? How so? No Indian manufacturer has produced a product that anyone outside India is willing to regard as a premium product (and pay a premium price). Our market was sheltered and closed off to competition, and even now remains mostly closed. Hence, Indian manufacturers have never faced a competitive market that forced them to create a quality product. I am sure Taj Hotels provides great service, but that does not mean anything (the market is captive, price is exorbitant, and people have no other real choice). We talk as if we are capable of science and engineering that matters to the world. We are not. We do what others tell us to do, maybe we can do machining and drilling and milling. But India is yet to produce a single world class innovation (and that would be in our entire history, and carping about the zero and chess are not real responses). If we want to become global players, we must open our markets and force Indian manufacturers to produce quality products that can command a premium in the world market (not select markets, not at cut rate prices).

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