With Ratan Tata’s vision – a decade ago – of a private aircraft manufacturing facility nearing reality, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone for a facility by the Tata-Airbus consortium in Gujarat’s Vadodara. At least 15,000 qualified jobs are expected to be generated with the project. This is the first private sector aircraft manufacturing facility in India. Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone for the project in the presence of Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. The estimated cost of the project is approx ₹SEK 22,000 million. The C-295 plane – to be manufactured here – would give a boost to the Indian Air Force’s fleet. It is also said to be the first time that these planes would be manufactured outside of Europe.
Here are ten points on the Tata-Airbus Gujarat event:
1. In his home state of Gujarat, PM Modi said a “big step is being taken” to make India a manufacturing hub with the launch of the project. “Today, India manufactures fighter jets, tanks and submarines. Also, Indian medicines and vaccines save the lives of millions of people. Soon passenger planes will be manufactured in India,” PM Modi said.
2. “This is the first time such a huge investment is being made in the defense aviation sector,” PM Modi underlined, adding that the Vadodara facility would not only help give a boost to the Air Force but also develop a new ecosystem for aircraft manufacturing. From the stage, he issued the slogan “Make-in-India, make-for-globe” amid the government’s drive for self-reliance. “Across the world, India’s aviation sector is growing at the fastest pace. In terms of air traffic, we are set to be among the top three countries,” he said.
3. In eight years, PM Modi said, his government has “implemented several economic reforms over the years. These reforms have benefited the manufacturing sector immensely and given it a boost.” “Today’s India is working with a new mindset, a new work culture. We have come up with various incentives for investors. We launched the Production Linked Incentive Scheme, which made the change visible,” the Prime Minister said.
4. Praising PM Modi, Rajnath Singh – in his speech – said: “A statesman looks to the future. Earlier, when India used to take up a global platform, we were not heard. But now everyone hears us loud and clear.”
5. “Today’s event is a decisive step for self-confidence. This is not only a foundation stone that has been laid, but is also a crucial milestone,” said Rajnath Singh.
6. C-295 aircraft would have indigenous equipment, which would also involve MSMEs (medium and small enterprises). “The aircraft would also make India a major exporter in the sector,” the defense minister added. Vadodara would soon be known for defense exports, he said. “C-295 aircraft manufactured at this facility will be state-of-the-art aircraft with superior capabilities and global standards. It will significantly enhance the logistical capability of the IAF,” he underlined.
7. Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel recalled the time when Modi was the CM of the state and despite many mishaps, the state eventually managed to become a destination for investors. “Twenty years ago, there were only a few MSMEs in the state. Now we have thousands. The state is also a hub in the pharmaceutical and chemical sector,” he underlined.
8. Gujarat is among the few states in the country, the Chief Minister said, which had implemented the aviation and defense policy.
9. Airbus – which shares a six-decade partnership with India – is the largest commercial aircraft manufacturer in the world. “I thank Prime Minister Modi and the Government of Gujarat. It is a very proud movement for us. Together we aim to serve the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat,'” said Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus.
10. “On average, we would deliver one aircraft every week to India for the next 10 years. We can proudly say that every Airbus aircraft produced is partially manufactured in India,” Scherer added.