By Aritra Banerjee
NEW DELHI—The EU-India Aviation Summit, a two-day event focused on bolstering air transport ties between the two regions and discussing shared challenges and opportunities, launched on Thursday, 20 April 2023 in New Delhi. The summit, attended by government officials and industry executives, aimed to foster partnerships between European Union (EU) and Indian players in what the Indian Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia called the fastest-growing aviation market in the world.
During the summit, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Eurocontrol signed a declaration of intent, while the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) signed a letter of intent and memorandum of understanding (MoU) for closer cooperation.
Addressing the EU-India Aviation Summit virtually, Scindia highlighted the strong historical ties between India and the EU and how these are being strengthened through the aviation industry, thanks to robust physical, digital, and people-to-people connectivity. He also invited EU players to partner with India in creating adaptive technologies and help tackle emissions from the aviation industry.
Scindia further emphasised the Indian government’s initiatives, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, to promote aircraft manufacturing in the country. He mentioned regulatory reforms to create a conducive environment for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and introduced new MRO guidelines for the rationalisation of the charges leviable on MRO service providers for ease of doing business.
Scindia also called on EU industry players to seize the opportunities presented by India’s ambitious goals of using 100% green energy at airports by 2024 and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. The Minister reported that 25 AAI airports were already using 100% green energy and that India aims to make 121 airports carbon neutral by 2025. He also mentioned that the government was encouraging the use of sustainable aviation fuel and that Indian airline operators had already conducted demonstration flights using bio-fuel blended with Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF).
The summit featured a speech by Andreas Carlson, Sweden’s Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, who highlighted the long-standing history of bilateral relations between India and the EU and expressed confidence in a bright future of even stronger cooperation and collaboration. European Union Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean addressed the summit virtually, emphasising the successful history of partnership and cooperation between the two regions and expressing hope that aviation would become one of the most successful partnerships.
Rajiv Bansal, Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), concluded the summit by underlining India’s rapid growth in the aviation sector and the government’s commitment to improving infrastructure and connectivity with a renewed focus on innovation. The EU-India Aviation Summit demonstrated the strong potential for cooperation between the two regions and the opportunities for mutual benefit.