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India's Hyderabad aims to be centre for aerospace manufacturing

Indian conglomerate GMR Group, which built and is the major owner of Hyderabad's new airport, is speaking to European and US aerospace companies about establishing aerospace manufacturing factories at the airport's special economic zones.

"We are speaking to many aerospace and related companies, for establishing joint ventures in our aerospace park and special economic zones at Hyderabad," GMR Hyderabad International Airport VP of planning and strategic initiatives, D Ravindran, says in an emailed response to a query from ATI.

"GMR Group does not have any manufacturing experience in the aerospace sphere, but our plan is to set up aviation and avionics related units in the 250-acre special economic zones over the next couple of years and our ultimate aim is to make Hyderabad a one-stop hub for the aviation industry," he says.

Ravindran declines to confirm local media reports that cite unnamed sources as saying the foreign aerospace companies GMR is speaking to include Honeywell and Safran.

"At this point in time, we cannot give out any names as we are bound by confidentiality clauses," says Ravindran.

"Suffice to say that we will be making an official announcement" later once negotiations are concluded, he adds.

The deals that GMR Hyderabad International Airport has announced so far are to do with maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).

GMR is establishing a MRO at the airport in joint venture partnership with Malaysia Airlines Engineering & Maintenance.

Engine-maker CFM International has also signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a CFM maintenance training centre near the airport.

The new Hyderabad airport opened March last year.

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