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India-New Zealand strengthen aviation ties

New Delhi. The Indian Government’s open sky policy has attracted many foreign players to enter the market. The latest in the band wagon is New Zealand. The two nations signed an aviation arrangement to facilitate promotion and development of training and technical assistance in the aviation sector.

Sealed after high-level talks between a visiting delegation of New Zealand led by its Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce and their Indian counterparts led by Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, the agreement enumerates types of cooperative activities like sending and receiving experts or instructors for training purposes; acceptance of licenses; acceptance of aeronautical products including but not limited to aircraft, engines, propellers and parts, and aviation services; organization of seminars; exchanging information on activities, policies, practices and laws and regulations concerning civil aviation, including but not limited to safety and environmental matters and visits and exchanges of technical personnel or other experts. The growth of air services between the two countries should greatly facilitate in enhancing cordial relationship, connectivity trade and tourism, said Ajit Singh. It was surprising, he noted, that was no direct air connectivity yet between the two countries. “India is predicted to jump from the 9th largest civil aviation market in the world to the third by 2020. Domestic traffic in India is expected to grow from 46 million to 90 million passengers per year, with international traffic soaring from 34 million to 90 million in the same period,” said Steven Joyce. He was accompanied on his visit to New Delhi by nine New Zealand aviation companies. Named ‘Arrangement for Cooperation on Civil Aviation’, the document was signed in the presence of Union Minister of Civil Aviation Ajit Singh and Minister of Economic Development and Tertiary Education Mr. Steven Joyce of New Zealand, by Secretary Civil Aviation K.N, Shrivastava and High Commissioner of New Zealand to India Ms. Jan Henderson. “This agreement provides a framework of cooperation that can be looked upon and promoted in the civil aviation sector of both the countries. It will initiate and promote exchange of training experts, acceptance of licenses, acceptance of aeronautical products and aviation services,” Richard White, commissioner for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, told India Strategic. He confirmed that as of now, an average 100 Indian students got their training for Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL) in New Zealand and the CPL is accepted in India after a student clears an examination by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). 410 Indian nationals gained their CPLs between 2008 and 2011.

John Nicholson, chief executive, Aviation New Zealand, reiterated that the New Zealand CPL is well recognised and more and more Indian students have been showing interest in coming there. He added that there is tremendous interest from both the sides on bilateral aviation trade. New Zealand exports nearly around $40 million (New Zealand dollars) worth of aviation sector services to India per annum.

Both India and New Zealand plan to form a joint committee to determine and oversee mutually acceptable activities in the civil aviation sector. “We are looking at the opportunities in the third markets to develop airports in partnership with Indian companies in the areas such as the southeast Asia,” informed Adam Bennett, customer director, New Zealand trade and enterprise.

Trade in the aviation sector between the two countries is on a positive stride. Radiola Aerospace, through Tata Power SED secured a four year contract to undertake flight inspection of new navigation aids at 30 military airfields throughout India and the first one at Bhatinda is already done informed Brent Albiston, Managing director of the New Zealand based company.

Airways New Zealand installed a future navigation system for Airport Authority of India in Kolkata Airport.

Christchurch Engine Centre services DART, JT8D and V2500 engines for several airlines in India. Glidepath and Atrax supply baggage and freight handling systems to airports around the country. Redesign has designed food and beverage areas in several major airports including T3 at Delhi and Mumbai International Airport. Rishworth Aviation has been supplying pilots and first officers to airlines like Air India, Kingfisher, Go Air and many others.

Serko provides an on line booking system to Indigo. Superstructure Group provides its risk and safety management system, AQD, to one of the major airlines in India.

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