One sig­na­ture in­ter­na­tional air show from In­dia on the cards

SP's MAI - - FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

This has been mak­ing the rounds for some time — one in­ter­na­tional air show from In­dia — a sig­na­ture one at that, like Le Bour­get (Paris) or Farn­bor­ough (Lon­don). The Min­is­ter of De­fence, Manohar Par­rikar, and also the Min­is­ter of Civil Avi­a­tion P. Ashok Ga­jap­athi Raju have been talk­ing about it, to club the bi­en­nial Aero In­dia show (pre­dom­i­nantly mil­i­tary) which has Bengaluru as its venue and the bi­en­nial In­dia Avi­a­tion (civil avi­a­tion) in Hyderabad. For Aero In­dia 2017, the two min­is­ters were on the in­au­gu­ral stage and also ad­dressed the press con­fer­ence jointly, talk­ing about con­ver­gence.

When that con­ver­gence will hap­pen and where the show will be lo­cated are mat­ters of spec­u­la­tion, though me­dia re­ports con­tinue to drop the name of Goa as the prob­a­ble venue. We saw that hap­pen in early 2016 when the coastal state played host to De­f­expo, mov­ing from Pra­gati Maidan in New Delhi to Na­queri Quitol in south Goa. That was a back of be­yond lo­ca­tion which the De­fence Min­is­ter got it turned into an ex­hi­bi­tion place. De­f­expo had its own set of new chal­lenges in terms of set­ting up in­fra­struc­ture, nar­row roads, low turnout (Delhi with all its armed forces head­quar­ters and per­son­nel has had record break­ing foot­falls), cost of lo­gis­tics, etc. Not to for­get, that the Dabolim air­port which be­longs to the In­dian Navy is too small. Will Goa be able to han­dle the kind of air traf­fic, in terms of both mil­i­tary and civil­ian air­craft com­ing to the show, and also the air­lines that will be pressed into ser­vice. There are ma­jor doubts about that. While the spec­u­la­tion goes on, Aero In­dia high­lighted how the coun­try has stepped up its ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive and the for­eign orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers (OEMs) are in sync. A num­ber of joint ven­tures have been signed and will get signed in the days to come.

In­dia’s mil­i­tary re­quire­ments are hu­mon­gous to say the least. Lt Gen­eral P.C. Ka­toch (Retd) in his fort­nightly col­umn has un­der­scored the im­por­tance of the army hold­ing War Wastage Re­serves (WWR) suf­fi­cient for 30 days of ‘in­tense’ fight­ing plus 30 days of ‘nor­mal’ fight­ing which he men­tions has been al­lowed to de­plete as part of the ne­glected de­fence ca­pa­bil­ity past sev­eral years.

In an­other ar­ti­cle, he talks about In­dia-US re­la­tions, post US elec­tions. He is of the view that the United States must re­view its as­sis­tance to Pak­istan as the hatch­ery of Is­lamic ter­ror­ism, which is backed by China. Tam­ing the ‘deep state’ of Pak­istan can­not be ig­nored if the Indo-US de­fence part­ner­ship is re­ally to grow.

Lt Gen­eral Ka­toch also talks about lead­er­ship, par­tic­u­larly the Tri-Ser­vice Com­mands. He states that the talk of cre­at­ing Tri-Ser­vice Com­mands and a sin­gle-point mil­i­tary ad­vi­sor too in­di­cates ran­dom mea­sures that may be by de­sign or lack of un­der­stand­ing. It re­ally calls for a Chief of De­fence Staff.

We are happy to an­nounce that SP Guide Publi­ca­tions has been hon­oured by the Busi­ness Air­craft Op­er­a­tors As­so­ci­a­tion (BAOA) for its con­tri­bu­tion to the niche sec­tor of busi­ness avi­a­tion. The award was pre­sented at the an­nual BizAvIn­dia con­fer­ence, held on the eve of Aero In­dia in Bengaluru.

Happy read­ing!

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