Indian Chennai Aerospace Park likely to begin construction in January 2016

The aerospace industry is keenly focused on increasing its environmental performance and looks for continual innovation.
The Chennai Aerospace Park in India is looking to attract nearly £300m worth of investment.

Construction of the new Chennai Aerospace Park, in the south-eastern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is likely to begin in January 2016 once an environmental clearance is approved.

A proposal to manufacture an indigenous Regional Transport Aircraft from companies setting up their business at the park is also in the works, according to president of the Aerospace and Defence Industry Association of Tamil Nadu, N. Shekar.

Speaking while attending a session of the recent Global Investors Meet, Mr Shekar said releasing aerospace policy in regards to the park was an initiative of his association.

“We are waiting for environmental clearance, once that is in place we will move fast,” he said. “One of the things that we are trying to do is get the aerospace policy out.”

Mr Shekar said the association want to project the Chennai Aerospace Park as having a culture of aerospace manufacturing.

“There was an existing infrastructure of auto ancillary in the state, but the auto companies also brought in their own suppliers from Korea and other parts of the world,” he said.

“Similarly, we want to showcase this as an existing culture of aerospace manufacturing.”

VinMN Aerospace is one of the major companies investing in the Chennai Aerospace Park.

The end-to-end design and manufacturing firm which makes engines and engine components will be investing around Rs 800 crore ($120m, £77m) over a period of six years, and is likely to be the largest company at the Aerospace Park.

Venkatesh Chandrasekaran of VinMn Aerospace said the investment would involve a flagship regional aircraft project at the park.

“We can either wait for somebody (big original equipment manufacturers) to come, or we can build a flagship project,” he said.

“The regional transport aircraft (RTA) is a 60-70 seater aircraft that can fly up to 2000-3000km.”

The Chennai Aerospace Park is a project that was proposed by the state government in 2011.

The new park is set to feature diversified common facilities, including an advanced computing and engineering design centre, common testing and technology centre, avionics complex, composites development centre and a warehousing complex.

The park is being developed by the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited, and has attracted investments totalling Rs 1,015 crore ($152m, £98m) from 11 companies who have been allocated land.

Other Indian companies set to invest in the park include Metallica Bellows India and Bhastrik Mechanical Lab, which are both suppliers of pneumatic bellows.

Further investment could see project really take off

Nineteen other companies have also expressed an interest in investing in the Aerospace Park, which could create a total investment of Rs 3000 crore ($450m, £291m) and an employment potential of 5,000 people.

Companies which have already invested in the park specialise in various industrial areas, including electroplating, metal processing, precision engineering, manufacturing of cryogenic vessels, aerospace component and system design and the making of aircraft wheel and landing gear components as well as aircraft interior designing.

State government officials have indicated that they are planning to come out with a new aerospace policy to attract greater investments from the industry.

The Chennai Aerospace Park is set to be a crucial part of Indian PM Narendra Modi’s Make In India campaign, with the project set to help boost one of the biggest economies in the world, and the park to become a part of global aerospace industry which is worth $1tr annually.