After being delayed for two years, Boeing will start construction of an USD 100-million aircraft repair and overhaul facility at Nagpur by the second quarter of this calendar year in collaboration with Air India, its top official here said on Monday.
“We deliberately delayed the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) project as we wanted to time it to match with the delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners to Air India. It would come up by late 2013 or early 2014,” Boeing India chief Dinesh Keskar told reporters here.
About 50 acres of land has already been allocated for the project by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company and construction would start in the “second quarter of this year“.
He said the MRO facility was intended to serve 23 Boeing 777s, 27 Dreamliner 787s as also other aircraft types like 737s ordered by Air India.
Noting that B-787s would not require major checks immediately after their deliveries to Air India starts next year, he said when these aircraft would need to go in for high -level ‘C’ checks, “the facility would be fully in place“.
The Boeing India chief projected that India would require USD 100 billion worth of planes in the next 20 years, with single-aisle aircraft forming the bulk of the demand worth USD 60 billion.
As the 10th largest military spender in the world, India would require USD 31 billion worth of defence deliveries in the next 10 years, he said.
The first Boeing 787 aircraft is now expected to be delivered to All Nippon Airways later this year, almost two years behind the original scheduled date of delivery and Air India is expected to receive the first of this sophisticated aircraft in the second quarter of 2011, Keskar said.
The Dreamliners, he said, had now reached a “new level of airworthiness” by flying to 30,000 feet altitude during flight tests, which is normally not carried out on new planes.
Referring to the industry strategy of the US aircraft manufacturer in India, he said Boeing had already working with several Indian public and private sector firms in the fields of defence and communication technology.
While Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd was producing Boeing civil plane doors along with weapon bay doors for F-18 fighter aircraft and flaperones for P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, Tata and the leading US firm have set up a joint venture to produce aerospace components for international customers.
In the defence sector, Boeing last year sold eight P-8I anti-submarine warfare aircraft to the Indian Navy and is currently in talks with the Indian Air Force for ten C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft.