Russia's aircraft manufacturers are expecting their Indian sales efforts to receive a major boost later this month with the scheduled signing of an inter-governmental agreement under which the two countries will recognise each other's aircraft certification standards.

The expected formal agreement follows recent meetings in Moscow and Delhi involving representatives of Antonov, Ilyushin and Tupolev, their respective production plants, and Indian Government officials.

Novosibirsk Aviation Production Association (NAPA) is responsible for manufacturing the 27-seat Antonov An-38 twin turboprop utility aircraft, and claims to have secured letters of intent from several Indian operators for a total of around 20 aircraft.

"The main problem is the absence of an Indian certificate, but with this inter-governmental agreement we have a good possibility to enter the Indian market," says Valery Saldaev, NAPA head of marketing.

NAPA says once the An-38 has been certificated in India, it plans to open talks with local industry with regard to possible industrial co-operation.

Source: Flight International