Prabhu's 'Make in India' bid,seeks US help to locally manufacture aircraft

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Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday sought cooperation from the US to locally produce civil and defence aircraft in the country.

"The US is a leader in the aviation space and we will be very happy to collaborate with them to locally manufacture civil and defence aircraft," Prabbu told the sixth Indo-US aviation summit here.

The minister also said such cooperation will offer great business opportunities to American companies already present in the country.

"There are many areas of mutual interest that we need to discuss such as how do we make passenger and defence aircraft here locally; how do we make drones by collaborating with our US partners," he said.

Prabhu said he has set up a task force to suggest a roadmap for producing drones locally and will soon form a similar panel to guide government on locally producing aircraft for both commercial and defence purposes.

Addressing the summit, US ambassador Kenneth Juster said the two nations have made tremendous progress together in many fields, including in the aviation sector.

The Indo-US aviation cooperation programme has grown now with more than over 30 members from only 10 when launched 10 years ago, he said.

"We look forward to further measures to increase ease of doing business and enable US companies to make even greater contribution," Juster said.

The US is committed to deepening and expanding its work with India to private and government areas, he added.

Noting that the US-India aviation cooperation programme is going to be an important tool, Thomas Hardy of the US trade and development agency said they are supporting a range of activities in the Indian aviation space and specially mentioned its cooperation with Airports Authority of India.

Civil aviation secretary RN Choubey said government plans to appoint a consultant to harmonise the processes at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation with global peers.

"We are working together with the US on air traffic management, development and security," he added.

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