Bengaluru, New Delhi: India will not have to wait too long for a Boeing aircraft that is designed and manufactured in the subcontinent, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday at the inauguration of the plane maker’s engineering centre in Bengaluru.
The Boeing India Engineering and Technology Centre (BIETC) in Bengaluru is the company’s largest facility outside of the US. It will focus on research and development.
At the event, which was also attended by senior Boeing executives including Chief Operating Officer Stephanie Pope, PM Modi stressed the need to build an aircraft manufacturing ecosystem in India. “Given that there is so much potential in India, we need to rapidly build an aircraft manufacturing ecosystem in the country,” PM Modi said.
“I proclaimed from the ramparts of the Red Fort – ‘this is the time, this is the right time’. It is also the opportune time for Boeing and other international companies to align their growth with Bharat’s rapid progress. The commitment of 140 crore Indians is now focused on building a developed Bharat in the next 25 years,” PM Modi said.
“With such immense potential in Bharat, we must swiftly establish the aircraft manufacturing ecosystem. Bharat boasts a robust network of MSMEs and a vast talent pool. Coupled with a stable government and a policy approach that encourages ‘Make in India’, this creates a win-win situation for every sector. I believe that the people won’t have to wait long for Boeing’s first fully designed and manufactured aircraft in Bharat,” the Prime Minister said. BIETC was built at a cost of ₹ 1,600 crore on a 43-acre plot at Hightech Defence and Aerospace Park in Devanahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The facility is expected to become a cornerstone for partnerships with vibrant startups, and private and government ecosystem in India.
Boeing did not give details on the number of people the new facility will employ. Boeing currently employs more than 6,000 people in India across its various centres.
PM Modi also launched the Boeing Sukanya Programme that the company said aims to support the entry of more girl children from across India into the country’s growing aviation sector.
The programme will provide opportunities for girls and women from across India to learn critical skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and train for jobs in the aviation sector, Boeing said in a statement.
“We are honoured and privileged to support Prime Minister Modi’s transformative vision for India, and we are grateful to have him dedicate the Boeing campus to foster aerospace innovation in the country,” said David L Calhoun, Boeing president and CEO.
Boeing has seen a surge in interest for its jets in India, currently the world’s fastest-growing aviation market, with travel demand outstripping the supply of planes.
On Thursday, the aircraft manufacturer received orders for 150 737 MAX narrow-body jets from Akasa Air, India’s youngest carrier.
Boeing has an alliance with Tata Group to produce AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselages and 737 aircraft vertical fin structures.