India to play major role in manufacture of passenger aircraft

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Bangalore, Oct 20 (UNI) Notwithstanding the recent global economic downturn, India is likely to play a major role in future passenger aircraft projects along with Japan and other Asian countries, National Aeronautics Laboratories (NAL) Director A R Upadhya said today.

Speaking at Asian Network of Major Cities (ANMC21) working level conference on Jet Passenger Plane here, he said Asian countries should work towards continental collaboration for manufacturing passenger Aircraft; as Asia was witnessing the biggest growth in the civil aviation sector.

''It would be prudent for the Asian countries to take smaller but gradual steps in this direction by initiating joint project of advanced technology development, involving academia and R and D institutions in relevant areas,'' he said.

He regretted that hitherto, the technological interaction in aeronautics between India and other Asian countries was restricted to only academic interactions on a limited scale.

He said NAL had begun an ambitious journey of developing a 70-seater regional transport aircraft (RTA-70) in the 11th plan period and beyond. There had been firm indications of support from the Indian Government for such a venture involving the Indian industry, R and D and academic institutions.

The country had established credentials as a major player in advanced aerospace technologies through successful aeronautical and space programmes. It was ready to collaborate with international agencies on an equal footing, he said.

Speaking on the significance of Asian collaboration for a jet passenger plane, Dr Kazuhiro Nakahashi, Professor of Tohoku University in Japan said multilateral cooperation was indispensable for sharing the risks and costs for aircraft developments.

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