Foreign firms provide 85-90% maintenance, overhaul services.
New Delhi: Despite having a thriving aviation industry that has 625 aircrafts flying passengers daily, India has only four domestic Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMO) with the capacity and requisite certifications for base maintenance, repair and overhaul needs (MRO) of the planes, out of the 48 approved by director general of civil aviation (DGCA).
The government says that an estimated 85%-90% of the base MRO is supplied by overseas AMOs.
“Given the technical and skill base and in recognition of the potential for attaining self sufficiency in MRO sector, attracting business from foreign airlines, and developing India as a hub for MRO services, various interventions have been made from time to time under National Civil Aviation Policy 2016. There has been renewed focus on development of engine shops, component and airframe MRO in India by aviation original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and logistics services providers,” minister of state for civil aviation , Hardeep Singh Puri told Lok Sabha recently in response to a question.
He added that several steps have been taken for creation of a congenial atmosphere for broad-based development of MRO in the country. These include, exemption of customs duty on tools and tool kits; reduced GST on various spare parts, accessories and consumables; relaxed restriction on utilization of duty-free parts from one year to three years.
In addition, 100% foreign direct investment is permitted via automatic route for MRO along with liberalised policy for borrowing and lending in foreign currency and Rupees. There are also prescribed modalities for concessional temporary imports of spare parts by foreign airlines for repair of their aircraft in transit, the minister added.
Line maintenance requirements of aircraft are met by domestic airlines through self-handling or third party domestic sourcing. In view of its growing aviation industry, the Indian government had sanctioned 48 stand alone AMOs. At present, only Air India and now defunct Jet airways have in-house MRO facilities in India though sometimes, they too use service of foreign MROs.