The two days EU-India Aviation Summit began in New Delhi today. During the summit, a declaration of intent was signed by Airport Authority of India with Eurocontrol, and a letter of intent memorandum of understanding was signed by DGCA with the European Union Aviation Safety for closer cooperation.
The summit focuses on EU-India air transport relations and the mutually shared challenges and opportunities of the two regions, such as the post-COVID recovery of air traffic, increasing sustainability, maintaining safety and the development of unmanned aircraft systems.
The Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia addressed the summit virtually. He said, “India and the European Union (EU) have shared strong historical relations which continue to grow today on the back of robust physical, digital and people-to-people connectivity, aided by the aviation industry”
Shri Scindia stated, “Under the visionary leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Government has taken several steps to promote aircraft manufacturing in the country. We have reformed the regulatory environment to make it as conducive as possible for MROs – reduced GST rates on MRO services from 18% to 5% and allowed 100% Foreign Direct Investment into the sector. New MRO guidelines have also been rolled out for rationalisation of the charges leviable on MRO Service Providers for ease of doing business. I would urge industry players from EU to tap these opportunities, and become a part of the fastest growing aviation market in the world.”
The minister invited EU players to partner India in developing adaptive technologies, and support the objective of tackling emissions from the aviation Industry. “We are encouraging airports to use 100% green energy by 2024, and achieve net zero by 2030. 25 AAI airports are already using 100% green energy. Our target is to make another 121 Airports carbon neutral by 2025. We have also mandated the use of renewable energy as part of the bid documents for upcoming airports; we are also working towards encouraging the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Indian Airline operators have already conducted demonstration flights using bio-fuel blended with ATF”, he concluded.
Ms Adina Vălean, European Union Commissioner for transport, also addressed the summit through virtual mode. She said, “From commercial opportunities, to aviation safety and security, sustainability, air traffic management, or consumer protection, our shared experiences, as well as our shared objectives, make us natural partners.”
She further said, “We already have a successful history of partnership and cooperation in many areas. I truly hope aviation will become one of our most successful partnerships.”
Mr Andreas Carlson, minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Sweden addressed the summit. He said, “We have a long standing history of bilateral relation between India and EU. I am sure we have a bright future together with even stronger cooperation and collaboration between EU and India.”
The Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Shri Rajiv Bansal addressing the summit said, “There are several fronts on which India and EU cooperate and this summit marks beginning of that journey.” He said that Indian aviation sector is growing rapidly, and we are preparing for having better infrastructure, better connectivity, with renewed focus on innovation.