BAOA's BizAvIndia Seminar Takes Off with Deliberations on "Socio-Economic Impact of GA/BA"
Amid the rising reports of India coming under the garb of COVID-19, organised by the Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA), the 5th edition of the BizAvIndia Conference was held on March 11, 2020, in Hyderabad on the sidelines of Wings India 2020. The welcome address at the conference was moderated by Group Captain Rajesh K. Bali, MD, BAOA. The panelists included BAOA President, AVM S.S. Chauhan; Rohit Kapur, Managing Director, Arrow Aircraft Sales & Charters Pvt. Ltd.; Ashish Saraf, President Airbus Helicopter South Asia and Varun Gupta from Honeywell.
The session witnessed the release of a special concept report prepared by Pratt & Whitney Canada in collaboration with BAOA titled 'Social impact of General Aviation'. While presenting the report, Group Captain Bali also talked about the need to explore and expand helicopters for private aviation in the country as well as the tremendous potential that India has when it comes to amphibious aircraft in the form of coastal tourism. The session further showcased the scope of GA/BA for emergency medical services (EMS), remote air connectivity, and disaster management. The many challenges that the industry faces were also discussed through the conference from infrastructure to limited economic opportunities, governance challenges, taxation policies, etc. as the hurdles for an effective growth of the sector.
"This conference is very timely. The government is interested in providing a thrust and put in place a regulatory system which enables the business aviation sector to realise its true potential in India. We have been working in close concert with the association (BAOA) in order to put in place a regime for BA/GA which enables you to grow and fulfil your rightful place along with scheduled airline operations," said Vandana Aggarwal, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Government of India.
The conference proceeded further with panel discussions divided into three sections catering to three very significant topics of the GA/BA industry which required conversation. The first session was about 'Boosting economic growth with business and general aviation'. The panelists for the same included Sudhir Nayak, Senior Vice President, Reliance Commercial; Rohit Kapur, Managing Director, Arrow Aircraft Sales & Charters; Ashish Saraf, President Airbus Helicopter South Asia and Narayana Vislavat, Deputy Director of Air Safety, DGCA. The last session was moderated by Wing Commander Julian D'Souza, Vice President –Aviation, Jupiter Capital on 'Safety/Infrastructural/Security Challenges for achieving optimal growth of GA/BA in India, and the way forward' and added Ashish Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, GMR Hyderabad International Airport and Harsh Wardha Sharma, Director, Himalaya Airlines in the panelists.
The panelists presented the challenges with single-engine operations in the country and the steps that can be taken for better utilisation of the single-engine turboprop aircraft including proper routing, operational and training requirements, etc. There were also extensive talks about the elitist tag that this industry has unnecessarily carried and how it's high time that's done away with along with many other infrastructural steps being worked out for the future.
"We understand the importance of GA and the role it plays in developing country like India, the government has already acknowledged the challenges and we are taking these up to the highest level and working to have dedicated areas for GA aircraft," said Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation.