International Seminar on Civil Aviation- Regional Air Connectivity
INAE in association with the Ministry of Defence Production and Ministry of Civil Aviation organized a one-day International Seminar on “Civil Aviation – Regional Air Connectivity” as a part of Aero India on 21st February, 2019 at Bangalore. “Aero India 2019” is a biennial major aviation event scheduled during 20 – 24 February 2019 at Bangalore. The genesis of planning of the event was that Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary, Department of Defence Production in his address during the Inaugural Session of Engineers Conclave 2018, organized by INAE jointly with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) on Oct 4-6, 2018 at L&T LDA, Lonavala, desired that INAE organize a one-day International Conference on Aerospace technologies in the Aero India Show planned in February 2019 at Bangalore. This initiative was in line with the earlier efforts of INAE wherein the recommendations emanating from Engineers Conclave 2017 regarding “Development and Production of Regional Civil Aircraft in India” were submitted to Niti Aayog; who had taken up the case for instituting a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) as recommended by INAE for approval of the PMO. The approval has since been accorded and the Ministry of Civil Aviation directed to process the case to form a SPV to head the initiative. The event was a good opportunity where national and international speakers have contributed to come up with actionable recommendations to be progressed with the concerned agencies.
The emphasis of the INAE seminar was on next generation regional turbo prop aircraft since India has emerged as a huge market for regional turbo props and the Government is supporting development of next gen turbo prop in collaboration with Global majors. Global leaders from industry, major R&D labs, Academia, Indian aircraft industry, airline operators and government leadership participated in this seminar. The Programme of the Seminar included the Inaugural Session, Plenary Talks, three Technical Sessions a Panel Discussion. The seminar provided an excellent platform for globally recognized engineering luminaries to interact with the national domain experts and bring out actionable recommendations for the way forward.
The Inaugural Session commenced by felicitating the dignitaries and the Welcome Address by Dr BN Suresh, Immediate Past-President, INAE and Chairman, Advisory Committee wherein the background and aim of the event were highlighted. Dr Sanak Mishra, President, INAE then delivered the Presidential Address during which included the major initiatives and landmark activities of INAE.
The Guests of Honour Ms. Vandana Aggarwal, Eco. Adviser, MOCA; Dr. Shekhar C Mande, DG, CSIR; Dr. G Satheesh Reddy, Chairman DRDO then delivered their address. Dr. Shekhar C Mande during his address mentioned that the economic development of a region is directly linked to air connectivity and therefore organizing the Seminar on this topic of Regional Air Connectivity is of high relevance. Dr. VK Saraswat, Member, Niti Aayog, Chief Guest during his address emphasized that the right ecosystem in the country has been created to take up the tasks of building Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA) with the development of LCA, SARAS and HANSA. He also highlighted that there is a need to look up the next generation of aerodynamics, the laminar flow, the wave drag reduction, light weight by choosing right materials and reducing noise. The Session ended with a Vote of Thanks by Mr. Jitendra J Jadhav, Director, NAL and Chairman, Organizing Committee.
The highlights of the seminar were two Plenary Talks delivered by Prof. John Hansmann, MIT, USA on ‘Air Transportation Trends and Implications for Regional Transport in India’ and Dr. Kota Harinarayana, Formerly Programme Director, ADA, Bangalore and President, Aeronautical Society of India, Bangalore on ‘Next generation Turboprop Development – Challenges & Opportunities’.
The three Technical Sessions held during the Seminar were based on ‘Regional Transport Aircraft’; ‘Regional Aircraft Design’ and ‘RTA Powerplant’. The Session on ‘Regional Transport Aircraft’ included Keynote speakers from Indigo and SpiceJet Airlines who shared their experiences on their requirements for a Next generation Regional Turboprop. During the session, Dr. Andreas Kloeckner from Institute of System Dynamics & Control, DLR, Germany shared his views on ‘Challenges and Solutions for Certified Electric Aircraft in Commercial Applications’. Technical inputs on ‘Precision Navigation for All Weather Approaching at Low Cost Airports’ was also covered during this Session by one of the Keynote Speaker from ISRO.
During the next Technical Session on ‘Regional Aircraft Design’; presentations were made by two International speakers viz. Mr. Nikolai Talikov, Chief Designer, Ilyushin Design Bureau on ‘Regional Turboprop Programs of the Ilyushin Design Bureau’ and Mr. Agung Nugroho, President Director, Regio Aviasi Industri, Indonesia on ‘Regional Transport Aircraft Program of Indonesia (R80)’. Last Technical Session on ‘RTA Powerplant’ included two presentations by Ms. Nivine Kallab, Senior Director, Strategic Planning & Business, Pratt &Whitney, Canada on ‘Regional Aircraft Trends of the Future, P&WC’s View of the Indian Market’ and Mr. Uma Maheshwar D, Executive Chief Consulting Engineer, GE India on ‘GE Aviation- Next Generation Propulsion for Regional Connectivity’.
The event concluded with the Panel Discussion on ‘Ecosystem of Manufacturing of Civil Aircraft in India’ chaired by Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India wherein the suggestions from eminent panellists and participants were summarised. Ms. Vandana Aggarwal, Eco-Adviser, MOCA highlighted that India would be buying about 2100-2200 aircrafts (scheduled carriers) as for Boeing and Airbus estimates in the next two decades. The total cost for that is about 300 billion US dollars and is a right stage for India to enter the aviation Industry with the manufacture of RTA and thereby save the precious foreign exchange.
Prof. K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt. of India then summarised the proceedings and said that the SPV created needs to have management leaders, economists, financiers who come from industry as well as non-engineering backgrounds with an understanding of the market. He emphasized that this kind of a leadership is critical for the success of project. He brought out that engineers and scientists tend to look at this as a technical problem as a proof of their technological competence. However, in today’s world, it is possible to get the most complex things done if a talented group of engineers gets together by working with companies around the globe. Having technical competency is an absolute necessity. In addition, the other components are needed to succeed. The post proceedings of the Seminar are under compilation which will be forwarded to the concerned Govt. Departments/Agencies for consideration.