• India should become a MRO hub

New Delhi. 29 March 2024. The 3rd edition of Emerging trends in MRO industry- EAMRO 2024 was organized on March 29, 2024, at Seminar Hall, IIT Delhi. The event was flagged off by a mesmerizing cultural performance by renowned classical dancer- Ms. Arunima Ghosh.

The conference was inaugurated by the Chief Guest- Lt. General Ajay Kumar Suri (DG, Army Aviation) and Guest of Honor- GVG Yugandhar (DG, Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau) and Shri Pulak Sen (Founder and Secretary General), MRO Association of India). Along with the event organizers- Andy Kotwani (Chairman, Aviakul Group of Companies) and Vaibhav Varun (Chairman, EAMRO), the Chief Guest and Guests of honor inaugurated the event by lighting of lamp.

The opening panel discussion of the day was “Transformative technologies reshaping the MRO operations in the convergence of Civil and Military” was moderated by Col. K V. Kuber (Director -Aerospace and defense, Ernst and Young LLP)

Lt.  Gen. Suri spoke about the emerging trends in MRO industry in terms of increasing supportive government policies and increasing participation of the private players in the industry- which is especially visible in the last 4-5 years. He indicated that in terms of market global share of MRO industry- which is about 100-billion-dollar, India’s share is a meagre 2%! And out of this too, the helicopter MRO constitutes only 75-million-dollar market- which simply means that there is a huge gap that needs to be tapped. He also emphasized on the importance of setting up framework for block chain technology. AVM Sanjeeb said that Air Force has some 46 projects that promote synergy between military and civil MRO and DIG Jamal Taha touched upon the subject of synergy of aircraft operation among the three national defense forces.

Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh talked about the upcoming technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Robotics, Additive manufacturing and also spoke about success story of the country in terms of LCA (Light Combat Aircrafts) and subsequent version of the LCA. At the conclusion of this panel, Bharat Malkani (Chairman, Max Aerospace and Aviation Limited) emphasized for synergy in communication systems, electrical systems and other similar components that are common to all aircraft. The panel also touched upon the issue of low budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The esteemed panelists in unison agreed to set up a task force of experts from defense, financial advisors, industry experts to frame up the policies.

Following the panel discussion, Ashutosh Sharma (Chief General Manager, Development, IFSCA) gave a presentation on “Future of IFSCA (International Financial Services Centre Authority) in Aviation & MRO Industry”. He emphasized on creating an MRO ecosystem in IFSCA by synergizing the capacities of shipping, finance, regulatory bodies etc. inside the authority.

The second panel discussion “International Collaborations and Investments in Indian MRO” was moderated by  Poonam Chawla (Associate Publisher, Air Cargo Update). The panelists dwelling upon the state of lagging behind MRO sector despite booming aviation industry, touched upon the issues of lack of credit facilities, not enough focus on big component MRO, instructed tax duties. The thorough discussion was facilitated by Cdr. Gautam Nanda (Associate Partner, Aerospace and Defense, KPMG India),  Manan Jaisinghani (Associate VP, Invest India), Sandeep Bahl (Director, US-India Aviation Cooperation Program) and Tejaswi Narasimhan (Advisor and Consultant, Aircraft sales and acquisition).

In the first fireside chat of the conference- “Emerging trends in Aircraft Material and structural integrity”,  Ashwini Sharma (Visiting Faculty, Chandigarh University) spoke about composite material, coatings which can withstand harsh conditions and thermal imaging as the latest trends in aircraft materials. Gp. Capt.  GVG Yugandhar gave examples of Aircraft structural integrity program and engine structural integrity program. The National Aeronautics Lab (NAL) carries out many studies which can increase the life of aircraft. Both the speakers empathized that India needs have concrete teaching plans on metallurgy if we want to make our own engine in India.

The next keynote lecture- “Role of Drones in MRO”,  Aman Johri (CEO, Jatayu Unmanned systems) told the audience that human factor is a big challenge in MRO and to mitigate the risk at every level, the role of UAVs in MRO is critical. The labor in MRO sector is very huge and so is the scope of errors. He also informed that Jatayu Unmanned Systems introduced battlefield MRO, taking the reference from Ukraine war.

The second Fireside chat, “Circular Economy in Aviation MRO” was conducted between B.C. Behera, (Technical Advisor/ Consultant, Ministry of Civil Aviation) and  Mangalam Pandey (Lead -Technical services, Air India Limited). They empathized upon the importance of reusing and recycling of the resources in the MRO process. The final feature presentation of the event was conducted by Akshay Kumar (Quality Manager, Autotrade Aviation. He demonstrated their expertise in providing comprehensive MRO Services.

EAMRO- 2024 was sponsored by Imperial Tailoring, Autotrade Aviation, Aman Aviation and Jatayu Unmanned Technologies, while it is supported by big names of the aviation industry such as Air India Engineering Services Limited, Pawan Hans Limited, GMR Aero Technic, Air Works as MRO partners. The main airline partner is SpiceJet and cargo partner is Pradhaan Air. The outreach partners are Aeronautical Society of India, Rotary Wing Society of India, Indian Women Pilot’s Association and SIA- India. Eminent media partners included Aviation World, Aerospace and Defense Universe, Aviation Guide, Air Cargo Update and 100 Knots.

The event was attended by a dynamic crowd under the aegis of Tryst, IIT Delhi- North India’s target technical fest which hosts 80+ events over a three-day period.