A Word from Editor-in-Chief
IIT WAS A POLITICAL decision, followed up by government backing that saw the birth of Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica or known the world over as Embraer in 1969. Starting with production of the Embraer EMB 110 Banderante, the Brazilian aerospace behemoth has come a long way. With offices and factories around the world and over 5,000 different aircraft sold on every continent, Embraer is the market leader in commercial jets with up to 130 seats. It is also the fifth largest manufacturer of executive jets in the world and the largest defence and security solutions company in Brazil. In this issue, we have traced the historic origins of Embraer which is going from strength to strength. In an exclusive interview, the President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, John Slattery reveals how these are exciting times for Embraer with the development the E-Jets E2 jets programme which is progressing well, to be delivered next year. The company’s strategy has been to keep up the momentum and maintain leadership position in the 70-130 plus seat segment. To date, Embraer has delivered over 1,300 current generation E-Jets to 70 airlines in 50 countries and that is phenomenal growth. India is one country which can benefit from their regional jets, now that the government has initiated the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).
Making a case for the private industry to take up aerospace manufacturing, Group Captain A.K. Sachdev (Retd) writes that with full-blooded private sector participation, ‘Make in India’ may really take off in the aerospace sector. While on aerospace manufacturing, the global airline industry is pitching for two engine aircraft as elucidated by Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd) as fuel efficiency is the highest priority for airline operators.
On the domestic scene, the Indian airline industry is forging ahead with the RCS. On completion of the initial bidding process 128 regional routes have been awarded to five regional carriers. The government is working on a major push for infrastructure development for RCS by operationalising as many as 70 airports including several that are currently unserved or underserved. Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally flagged off the first regional flight under this scheme from Shimla on April 27, 2017. R. Chandrakanth provides an update on RCS in this issue.
The aviation industry, general and business aviation in particular, is going through a crisis of pilot shortage, leading to getting in expat pilots. Colonel Sanjay Julka, CEO, India FlySafe Aviation, creates an interesting interview scenario for Pilot in Command and find that they are hopping from one airline to another, leaving the airline operator to pick the chaff from overseas.
Moving to military aviation, the focus is on helicopters and Group Captain Sachdev looks into the ongoing acquisitions, the Indian Air Force. In another article Air Marshal Pandey talks about the capabilities of the Apache attack helicopters which the Defence Acquistion Council has recently cleared.
In this issue, we have covered how ABACE continues to grow despite the plateau that the business aviation segment seems to have hit as of now in Asia. The show apparently exceeded the expectations of the NBAA and there were clear indications of the business opportunities in the future in this segment of the civil aviation industry. A detailed report by Chandrakanth figures in this issue of SP’s Aviation.
All this and more apart from the regular features in this issue of SP’s Aviation. Welcome aboard and wish you happy landings!