US companies impressed by Indian aviation sector growth

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Washington, Mar 26 (ANI): The US administration has informed India that their companies are very impressed with the growth displayed by that country's aviation sector.

The civil aviation sector has emerged as the fastest growing component of bilateral trade, accounting for about 15 percent of US exports to India.

This was informed to Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel during his recent meetings with the US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt in Washington.

During the meeting, the US administration also informed that their companies were keen to contribute to India's aviation growth.

According to Patel, during the meetings, both sides acknowledged the positive role of aviation in improving connectivity between the two countries since the signing of the Open Skies Agreement in 2005.

Patel said these companies needed to show a long-term commitment beyond just exporting to India.

"They should seriously explore the possibility of establishing manufacturing bases and investing in aviation infrastructure like airports," Patel added.

He also urged Locke to explore the possibility of liberalizing the export controls regime for India.

Patel invited both the US Secretaries to visit India to see for themselves the numerous opportunities that India offers for mutually beneficial partnerships in general, and in aviation, in particular.

He also addressed a luncheon round table at the US Chamber of Commerce where many US companies engaged in aviation-related activities were present.

Patel gave them an update on recent developments and encouraged them to deepen their technological collaboration with India.

The US-India Business Council organized the event.

During his visit, Patel also addressed US Government officials, business representatives, Non Resident Indians (NRI), and Indian Americans at the celebration 'Air India's Capital to Capital Connectivity: Bringing Washington and Delhi Closer'; a cultural reception organized by the US-India Business Council.

The event was organised to publicize the new Air India link between Washington DC and New Delhi.

Congressman Jim McDermott was a special guest on the occasion.

The service that commenced from 1 December 2009 provides the only single-plane link between the two capitals.

As both countries take their bilateral strategic partnership to a new level of multifaceted and a broad based relationship, there is a shared appreciation of the importance of robust cooperation in the aviation sector as it makes possible the flow of people, goods and services.

This led to the establishment of the bilateral Aviation Cooperation Programme, a trilateral cooperation among the Union Civil Aviation Ministry, the Federal Aviation Administration, US Trade Development Administration and US industry, which has been most successful.

The number of companies in the programme has gone to 32 from seven at inception.

The US has participated actively in both the Civil Aviation exhibitions that have been organized in India.

The second bilateral Aviation Summit held in Washington DC in December 2009 had large participation from both sides and provided an excellent forum for dialogue and cooperation. (ANI)

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