Indian charter operator Maritime Energy Heli Air Services (Mehair) is launching a new seaplane operation to connect the center of the country’s commercial capital Mumbai with the affluent Aamby Valley area. The charter flights, operated with four-seat Cessna 206 amphibians, started last month and early advance bookings have convinced the company to add a nine-seat Cessna 208 aircraft by the end of May.
Raisbeck Engineering has named Mumbai, India-based Airworks an authorized dealer and regional installation center for its King Air modifications. With this agreement, Airworks will now be able to install Raisbeck systems at its facilities in Delhi, Mumbai and Hosur. Seventy King Airs are based in India.
Bombardier Aerospace has approved a second line maintenance facility in India. Air Works in New Delhi is authorized to work on the Challenger 604, Challenger 605, Global Express and Global Express XRS. The facility will complement Air Works’ center in Mumbai, which has been part of Bombardier’s authorized service facility network since 2008.
Dassault Falcon has named Indian charter operator Taj Air as a Dassault Falcon authorized line service station at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. The facility, which is already operational, will provide scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and inspections for all Falcon 2000 models. Initially the facility will serve Indian-registered Falcons; EASA approval is expected early next year. The 35,000-sq-ft facility also offers 24-hour AOG assistance.
India’s Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA) is threatening legal action against financial penalties imposed since July 1 by Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) on transient aircraft parked at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport beyond an agreed number of days. The penalty is seven times more than the present cost of parking, BAOA said.
The airport, which cannot be expanded beyond its single runway, has been a concern for many years as commercial and business aviation traffic has increased. A second airport is at least seven years away from completion.
After years of frustration, India’s business aviation community is hoping that a new report due to be published in April will trigger a sea change in government policy toward the industry. A team of representatives from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation is preparing for business and general aviation in India a blueprint that is expected to form the foundation for a more transparent and consistent approach to both regulating and stimulating the industry.
Middle East flight operations services firm Nexus has established Nexus India following its expansion into Africa and the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Mumbai-based Sovika Airline Services. Currently, there are 136 airports in India and within the last decade the country’s domestic air traffic has quadrupled. Industry forecasts predict that the healthy market growth witnessed last year in India will continue to increase, with the country poised to be among the top five aviation nations in the next 10 years.
Mumbai is the first airport in India to start international operations from a dedicated general aviation (GA) terminal, which until last month catered only to private domestic charters.
“Despite the challenging economic times, Bombardier has continued to invest in strengthening its service and support network worldwide. With about 40 business and commercial aircraft based in India, Bombardier has chosen Mumbai for its fifth regional support office [RSO],” said James Hoblyn, president customer services and specialized and amphibious aircraft Bombardier Aerospace.
Early last month, Bell sold three 412s to Global Vectra, bringing to 18 the number of helicopters in the fleet of the Mumbai-based aviation firm. Separately, the government of Karnataka has leased an Indian-built HAL Dhruv. Early last month, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was the first passenger.
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