India is to develop a hi-tech Helicopter City that promises to be a one-stop shop for all helicopter-related services, including maintenance and overhaul, charter, research and development, training and design.

The project - described as India's largest single location aviation project - will be funded by Indian, Middle Eastern, US and Asia Pacific-based investors and will be based in Umargaon near Surat, western India.

The project, which also includes a general aviation airport, is being developed as part of the Rp15 billion ($320 million) Gujarat Vittal Innovation City. The Australian-headquartered Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation has already pledged Rp10 billion.

India's booming economy and expanding wealth base has spawned a thriving local helicopter community. But GVIC chairman N Vittal says industry growth is being thwarted by the lack of infrastructure. "At present, domestic companies have to get these [support] services from Dubai and Singapore," he says. "The helicopter city will be a breakthrough in the aviation sector."

Source: Flight International