MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government is set to take concrete steps in the next 15 days to roll out what state officials say could well become the 'torch bearer' of the 'Make in India' initiative -the first 20-seater commercial passenger plane built in India.
The state will allot 46-acres of land in Palghar to Amol Yadav (40), a Jet Airways pilot, for building 20-seater commercial planes. No company in India has manufactured such an aircraft in India yet.
Yadav had created quite a stir during the Make in India week held in Mumbai in February this year with his six-seater passenger plane TAC-003, which he built along with his family and friends on the terrace of his flat in Charkop, Mumbai.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, when contacted, said that "his government will support Yadav" for the venture. Government officials said that Fadnavis has told them "to make sure that all necessary support is provided within the legal framework". Yadav told ET that the price of his 20-seater planes will be significantly less than similar aircraft imported from abroad, and can "revolutionize air travel" in the country.
"These aircraft can fly between smaller cities with tickets priced at less than Rs 2,000, which will improve air connectivity and boost tourism," said Yadav. He is in talks with aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to supply engines for his aircraft. The first two prototype 20seater planes will be rolled out by the end of next year.
Yadav had met the Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other officials after the Make in India week, and had presented a plan to manufacture aircraft in the country.
Officials in the state government, who had studied Yadav's proposal, firmly believe that the plan can work and are ready to back him all the way ."Maharashtra and India could be on the world aviation map once he starts manufacturing these aircraft. We could soon be looking at exporting them as they can be more economical than the imported ones," said a Maharashtra government official, who didn't wish to be identified.
The state is not just allocating Yadav land but is also trying to help him get his startup capital by talking to a few banks. A top state government official said that they would also be exploring whether Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) can extend a loan for this venture.
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