Karnataka is home to India’s aerospace industry. With the establishment of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bengaluru in 1940, Karnataka has come to be regarded as a pioneer in the aerospace and defence industry. The state is positioned as an aerospace destination due to the presence of numerous aerospace companies and Public Sector Units (PSUs) engaged in manufacturing, design and development and aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). In addition, several educational, scientific and technical educational institutions of excellence have boosted domain expertise in Information Technology, engineering and design skills that can be leveraged by aerospace majors.
Karnataka has some distinct advantages as a hub for aerospace activities including presence of large defence PSUs, presence of scientific and technical institutes, deep aerospace expertise including a network of 2,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that do niche subcontracting work, IT, design, engineering and manufacturing expertise, proximity to vendor base, opportunity for related services like ground handling, and the manufacture of ground support equipment.
Hub for aerospace & defence sectors
Karnataka is the birthplace of India’s first indigenous fighter jet, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), and hence is testimony of the state being an undisputed leader in the country in the field of defence and aerospace. Karnataka produces more than a quarter of the country’s requirements in the aircraft and spacecraft sector.
With a strong base of lower tier suppliers, numbering over 2,000 SMEs, that execute the niche sub-contracting work for the defence PSUs, there is a strong ecosystem in place for investors in these sectors. In fact, Karnataka accounts for more than 65% aerospace related investments in India. The increase in the national defence budget expenditure coupled with increasing demand of the civil aviation industry globally has meant that Karnataka is in a unique position to leverage its growth potential in the defence and aerospace sectors.
As a testimony of this, India’s first aerospace SEZ is operational in Belagavi. This apart, the government has earmarked 950 acres of land for another SEZ near Bengaluru, which is adjacent to the Kempegowda International Airport at Devanahalli. The Bengaluru SEZ will see facilities for manufacturing, MRO with direct access to the Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) runway, testing centre, hardware/embedded technology centre, technology innovation centre including a certification/calibration hub, and a common finishing facility and housing. With the added advantage of a large presence of top IT and ITES and electronic hardware companies in the state, many of them can be utilised for their services in an integrated supply chain for the sector.
Karnataka is also the first in rolling out a dedicated aerospace policy in the country to boost the sector by providing specific incentive programmes and tailormade initiatives for aerospace companies. The incentive packages and concessions include anchor unit subsidy, exemption from stamp duty, concessional registration charges, exemption from electricity duty (duration depending on the size of the project), entry tax exemption, etc. The aerospace industry also enjoys a special package of incentives and concessions for large, mega, ultra-mega and super-mega projects on a case-to-case basis. This apart, the development of Greenfield airports at Shimoga, Bijapur, Hassan and Gulbarga through the PPP model also provides opportunities to companies to make investments in this field.
PM lays foundation for HAL’s helicopter facility
TUMAKURU: Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a plaque for the foundation stone of a new helicopter manufacturing unit of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Tumakuru district in Karnataka on 3 January 2016.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi said that the manufacturing unit coming up in Tumakuru would not be an ordinary one, but one which would make the whole world take notice. The Prime Minister recalled former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s famous slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” and said that in the last 50 years, a lot of progress had been made in agriculture, and the country is now self-sufficient in food grains.
Lauding the Indian armed forces, he said that they were second to none, and now the time had come to ensure that the weapons and equipment they carried and used were also the best in the world. “For this, India needed to end dependence on imported weaponry, which is expensive and is not of the latest technology,” Prime Minister Modi said.
He added that the Union government has decided to lay stress on manufacturing of defence equipment and that the helicopters manufactured in Tumakuru will serve soldiers stationed in remote locations. Modi said that the first helicopter built in this unit should take flight by 2018. He added that 4,000 families will directly or indirectly get livelihood due to this factory. Modi recalled Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s vision for industrialisation in India, as a means to empower the poor and downtrodden, and said this manufacturing unit is also a step towards fulfilling that vision.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Union ministers Manohar Parrikar, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Ananth Kumar, and Union Minister of State G.M. Siddeshwara were present on the occasion.