A Word from Ed­i­tor-in-Chief


A MA­JOR EVENT THIS year has been the suc­cess­ful launch on June 5 of the geosyn­chronous satel­lite launch ve­hi­cle (GSLV) Mk-III, the heav­i­est launch ve­hi­cle pro­duced by the In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ISRO) so far. The GSLV Mk-III su­perbly in­serted the com­mu­ni­ca­tion satel­lite GSAT 19 into its planned geosyn­chronous trans­fer or­bit. This flaw­less ex­er­cise has in­deed been a land­mark achieve­ment in the his­tory of In­dia’s space en­deav­our and makes the nation proud! But as stated by Air Mar­shal B.K. Pandey (Retd) in his ar­ti­cle on the sub­ject in this is­sue of SP’s Avi­a­tion, ISRO has many more mountains to climb in its jour­ney into space in the fu­ture. As a part of an over­all plan to mod­ernise the In­dian armed forces, the In­dian Air Force (IAF) too is cur­rently em­barked on a mis­sion to up­grade its age­ing fleet of com­bat air­craft. The IAF has iden­ti­fied two com­bat plat­forms, one of which is pro­posed to be man­u­fac­tured in the coun­try in col­lab­o­ra­tion with an In­dian part­ner un­der the ‘Make in In­dia’ scheme ini­ti­ated by the present gov­ern­ment. The two com­bat air­craft in the race are the F-16 Block 70 from Lock­heed Martin Cor­po­ra­tion of the United States and the JAS 39E Gripen from Saab of Swe­den. While a fi­nal word from the gov­ern­ment is awaited, lat­est re­ports in the media in­di­cate that some more tri­als are to be con­ducted be­fore one of the two plat­forms is fi­nally selected. A num­ber of ar­ti­cles on the sub­ject of mod­erni­sa­tion of the IAF fig­ure in this is­sue of SP’s Avi­a­tion.

On the civil avi­a­tion front, the global air­line in­dus­try is go­ing through a phase of un­prece­dented tech­no­log­i­cal change, pro­vid­ing sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties but also for­mi­da­ble chal­lenges for all stake­hold­ers in the in­dus­try. In this is­sue of SP’s Avi­a­tion, there is an in-depth anal­y­sis by R. Chan­drakanth on the game-chang­ing de­vel­op­ments that are tak­ing place in re­spect of air­lin­ers. Car­ri­ers all over the world are al­ready in the process of ac­quir­ing the new gen­er­a­tion plat­forms or are plan­ning to in­duct these in the near fu­ture. On the In­dian civil avi­a­tion scene, the gov­ern­ment is fi­nally mov­ing ahead to pri­va­tise the ail­ing na­tional car­rier, Air In­dia. This is­sue has been pend­ing long as at­tempts in the past to pri­va­tise the flag car­rier has been scut­tled each and ev­ery time for one rea­son or an­other. Hope­fully, this time round, the gov­ern­ment has a good chance of push­ing this through. How­ever, it may not be easy as there are some for­mi­da­ble chal­lenges ahead for the gov­ern­ment. A ‘Last Word’ on the sub­ject is a part of this is­sue of the mag­a­zine.

The avi­a­tion com­mu­nity of the world ea­gerly awaits the iconic Paris Air Show, the old­est such event in the world that orig­i­nated in 1908, just five years af­ter the Wright Brothers got air­borne for the first time in a heav­ier-than-air ma­chine. This year too, the air show is being held at Le Bour­get that has been its venue since 1953. While on the sub­ject of air shows, this year, the Euro­pean Busi­ness Avi­a­tion Con­ven­tion & Ex­hi­bi­tion (EBACE 2017) that was held at the Geneva In­ter­na­tional Air­port was, ac­cord­ing to the or­gan­is­ers, one of the most suc­cess­ful in re­cent mem­ory, re­in­forc­ing its rep­u­ta­tion as the in­dus­try’s highly im­por­tant event in Europe. As stated by Bran­don Mitch­ener, CEO of EBAA, “Busi­ness avi­a­tion in Europe is grow­ing and this show fea­tured sev­eral new busi­ness mod­els that of­fer new op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow the market fur­ther.” A de­tailed re­port on EBACE 2017 by R. Chan­drakanth has been in­cluded in this is­sue of SP’s Avi­a­tion.

All these and more apart from the reg­u­lar fea­tures in this is­sue of SP’s Avi­a­tion. Wel­come aboard and happy land­ings!

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