Govt Seeks to Set Ground Rules for Gyroplanes
Seven conditions spelt out in draft policy for 2-seater copter-plane hybrids
New Delhi: It’s a bird… It’s a chopper…. It’s a plane... It’s a gyroplane.
Plane spotters in India may soon have something to look up to. Literally so, with the government coming out with a draft policy to regulate the operations of gyroplanes, or aircraft that combine the features of an aeroplane and a helicopter and are popular among the rich and famous in Europe and the United States.
In India, though, gyroplanes are set to debut as a mode of personal transport rather than an air taxi.
Gyrox Aviation, the Gurgaonbased company which plans to assemble gyroplanes in India from original equipment sourced from Poland’s Celier Aviation, is also eyeing paramilitary forces, state police forces and local government officials for selling the nearly .₹ 1.77 crore machines for surveillance along the border and other areas in the country.
“Corporates and high-end individuals can use a gyroplane as it can travel up to 600 km on a single tankful of petrol,” Gyrox Aviation founder Colonel (retd) RP Suhag told ET.
Seven conditions have been spelt out by the government in its draft policy on gyroplanes released on Friday after years of consultations between the ministries of home and civil aviation.
The rupee plummeted to a record 68.85 against the dollar and reserves slumped to a low of $275 billion, prompting the government and central bank to embark on a series of crisis-management measures. Among these was a special three-year deposit scheme for non-resident Indians (NRIs) with a hedge facility that brought in about $27 billion, which helped stabilise the currency.
Since then, the focus on inflation containment at 4% (with a 2 percentage point band on either side), restricting the fiscal deficit and macroeconomic reforms have helped soothe investor nerves.
Foreign portfolio investments have been strong with equity investments at ₹ 42,659 crore in 2017 and ₹ 1.32 lakh crore going into debt. This has resulted in the rupee strengthening 6% this year, making it the best performer among major emerging economi- tive for coffee producers to play along. Many connoisseurs might feel that the superior taste of kopi luwak is non-existent, that it’s a way to pass off poor coffee and that a lot of what’s sold under that label has never been near a civet – controlling the collection of faeces is never going to be an appealing job. But why raise questions when there are good profits to be made?
That Indian specialty coffee producers are going down the civet coffee route could indicate that an existing variant hasn’t worked. This was ‘monkey parchment’, a coffee industry term used for beans that, as per some stories, were eaten and excreted by monkeys, though more plausibly were said to be just chewed and spat out by them. Monkey parchment was mostly a tall story told by coffee planters, but then it started appearing for sale from some producers in tribal areas (a few also claimed to be collecting civet coffee). es. It should be noted that the rupee slumped to 68.86 in November 2016 before recovering. It closed at 64.09 to the dollar on Friday.
The currency appreciation is making imports more attractive while exports are becoming uncompetitive. The latest RBI data shows that the current account deficit, the excess of imports over exports, was at $14.3 billion in the June quarter, up from $0.4 billion a year earlier, and $3.4 billion in the March quarter. “The widening of the CAD on a year-on-year basis was primarily on account of a higher trade deficit of $41.2 billion brought about by a larger increase in merchandise imports relative to exports,” RBI said in a statement.
“The sharp surge in the current account deficit comes as no surprise, with the spike in gold imports prior to the introduction of GST responsible for half of this uptick,” said Aditi Nayar, economist at ICRA, the Indian unit of Moody’s. Monkey bitten might not score as high on the disgust-desire scale, which may be why the civet option is being tried.
Another animal used for this purpose, in Thailand, is the elephant. Coffee collected from elephant dung is called Black Ivory and again is said to retail for a high price. Elephants are also associated with another disgust-desire product, which is paper made from elephant dung. This was first reported in the Times of India in 2001 from a Sri Lankan company called Maximus Limited, and a few years later was joined by an Indian brand with the rather more striking name of Haathi Chaap.
In this case the authorising reason that triggered the disgust-desire appeal was environmentalism. Elephant dung can contain a lot of undigested plant fibres and processed plant fibres are what paper is made from. It then becomes a suitably green way to use up the quantities of dung that elephants produce – the founder of Maximus was quoted saying “In Sri Lanka we are practically sitting