Beechcraft sees significant opportunities for growth in India, and believes that the country is progressing towards embracing business and general aviation.
“India is making progress and things are improving,” says John Williams, the company’s newly-appointed country director for India. “There are still issues but they are working on them.”
Wiliams was speaking with Flightglobal at the India Aviation show in Hyderabad. The company brought three aircraft to the show: a King Air 350ER, a King Air 250, and a King Air C90GTx.
Beechcraft’s confidence is highlighted by the recent opening of an office in New Delhi and appointment of Williams. Prior to joining Beechcraft, Williams worked for a major US defence contractor, where he spent years dealing with India’s military acquisition offset processes.
Williams estimates that there are 65 Beechcraft turboprop and piston aircraft operating in India. Most of these are owned by state governments, charter companies, and other firms.
One challenge Williams sees is that India makes no distinction between aircraft used for private or air transport purposes. This greatly complicates, and adds cost, to owning an aircraft in the country. Other items, such as gaining flyover permits from Indian states, can take up to 72 hours to obtain.
Still, he has noted definite improvements over recent years, such as reduced bureaucracy in relation to obtaining landing permits.
Source: Flight International