Memorandum Of Understanding Signed in Washington
A Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) was signed last week in Washington by visiting
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and Secretary, US
Transportation Department, Mary Peters.
The MoU would establish an Aviation Cooperative Program for the
modernization of India's civil aviation sector, a US Agency
Under the MoU, the US Trade and Development Agency, Civil
Aviation Ministry, the FAA, and public sector entities of both
countries will cooperate to identify infrastructural lapses and
support modernization of the Indian civil aviation sector.
The program covers issues like infrastructure, safety, enhancing
air service quality, operational efficiency, flight security,
air-space management and system capacity.
The US-India Business
Council (USIBC) welcomed Patel at a luncheon in Washington on
Thursday to discuss opportunities for American investment in
India's air transportation and aviation infrastructure.
Former Deputy US Trade Representative and USIBC Board Member
Amb. Sue Esserman praised Patel for his leadership in broadening
the US-India aviation corridor and developing new avenues of
cooperation in air safety, training, and infrastructure
development, reported Daily India.
"We will have to work very actively in infrastructure," said
Patel, "We need to create our own hubs [including] a cargo hub in
Nagpur," to support India's booming logistics and shipping
USIBC President Ron Somers lauded Minister Patel for his
achievements in stimulating India's aviation industry and his new
aspiration to develop a network of 400 modern international,
domestic, and municipal airports across India by 2020.
"India's passenger and cargo airlines experienced phenomenal
growth rates last year, and Minister Patel recognizes the
importance of supporting these airlines by developing sufficient
infrastructure," said Ron Somers.
"Equally as important, we have a true two-way street for US and
Indian carriers, with Jet Airways and other Indian airlines opening
international flights between our two countries."
During the session, Patel called for tackling the challenging
issues of inadequate infrastructure and skilled manpower.
"We need more pilot training and engineering facilities as well
as more technical people. The real challenge is to build
infrastructure in the shortest possible time. Otherwise we cannot
sustain this kind of growth."
According to Patel, India must allow private players to build
new merchant airports and should promote regional airlines in tier
two and tier three cities with one major hub in a region, if it
aims to widen the sector.
USIBC celebrates its 32nd Anniversary on June 27th in
Washington, DC at its "Global India" Summit, which will feature
Boeing's CEO Jim McNerney, Reliance's CEO Mukesh Ambani, India's
Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, US Trade Representative Susan
Schwab, US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, and US Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice.
The US-India Business Council is composed of 250 of the largest
US companies investing in India, joined by two dozen global Indian
companies, whose common aim is to strengthen commercial relations
and deepen two-way trade.