Bilateral trade and collaboration opportunities in the aviation and aerospace sector

November 17, 2014 by NilaKanthi Ford

Focus on business between Ireland and India will bring jobs.

The Ireland India Business Association announced the first release of a report ‘India: Ireland – Bilateral trade and collaboration opportunities in the aviation and aerospace sector’ at its Annual luncheon sponsored by Etihad at the Shelbourne Hotel on Wednesday 12th November.

The Report outlined the significant opportunities for Irish aviation and aerospace businesses in India which is likely to be one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world in the next decade. Fifty airports are scheduled to be built by 2020. When translated into fleet requirement, this works out to about 1,000 commercial fleet, a total of 681 operational general aviation aircraft including 250 helicopters and 300 business jets in the country.

The new Indian Government has embraced the major challenge which will be to manage this growth while ensuring safety and adequate skills development.   Huge investment is expected in the Indian aviation and aerospace engineering sector.  Airport, airspace and air traffic management infrastructure will assume critical importance in the context of the Indian air transport sector.  There is a need for modernisation and upgrading of existing systems and equipment and the Indian Government is welcoming foreign investors with open arms.

The upside potential for growth in the Irish aviation and aerospace sector is significant. Airport, airspace and traffic management are core capabilities.  Established Irish infrastructure and retail management capabilities combined with its position of strength in the financing and leasing of aircraft – 60% of global market – offers an opportunity for increased completion, refurbishment and transition work for the MRO sector.  It will also develop the burgeoning sub-supply (products, systems and services) segment and technological innovation.   The addition of the education and skills training capabilities available to the global aviation and aerospace sector will further leverage these capabilities.


(L-R Kevin Cleary, Senior Vice President, daai; NilaKanthi Ford, Chairman IIBA; Her Excellency Mrs. Radhika Lal Lokesh, Ambassador of India to Ireland; Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive, IAA)

Ms NilaKanthi Ford, new Chairman for the IIBA yesterday, said:  “The Report ‘Bilateral collaboration and trade opportunities in Aviation and Aerospace’ is the first of such IIBA initiatives.  Research for this was undertaken in collaboration with the Indian and Irish Government and State Departments as well as the aviation and aerospace sectors in both countries.

On the one hand, we have in India, a country in its nascent stages of growth.  Aircraft fleets are growing and the opportunity of travel is becoming more open to more people.  India is looking for investment partners in airport infrastructure development, satellite navigation systems, maintenance and repair in addition to up skilling a whole generation of workforce.

On the other hand, what we have in Ireland is a country steeped in aviation activities- one of the country’s closely guarded secrets.  9 out of 10 of the world’s top leasing companies are based out of Ireland and some 250 companies which support this industry are based here.  By coming together as a cluster and promoting itself as one single industry, the opportunities to explore in India are significant.”

Mrs. Radhika Lal Lokesh for Government of India Ambassador to Ireland said “With the multiple initiatives being announced by the new government of Prime Minister Modi to foster development and economic growth and with the stronger signs of economic recovery in Ireland, there are significant opportunities to take our bilateral engagement forward.  The Indian Government has a firm commitment to chart a new path and a red carpet welcome in a spirit of cooperation.  We look forward to developing this relationship with Ireland in the aviation and aerospace sector.”

Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive,  IAA said: “Ireland is a centre of excellence for aviation and the sector is of major importance to Ireland, contributing over €4 billion directly to our GDP and supporting over 40,000 jobs. Ireland and India have a long history of cooperation and we are very keen to support India in the development of its civil aviation industry. This interim report highlights that there are vast opportunities for cooperation. I am certain that the Irish aviation industry can assist India in helping to meet its growth targets.

Kevin Cleary, Senior Vice President daa International commented “Our parent group daa is strongly supportive of enhancing the existing links between Ireland and India. We already have a significant business in India through our subsidiary ARI’s role in the award-winning Delhi Duty Free business. daa International is also active in the Indian market, our airport development and infrastructure expertise will prove invaluable in supporting India’s rapidly developing airport infrastructure”

–          Ireland has developed a significant aviation industry and has a range of related aviation services. In the last five years Ireland has risen to being one of the world’s largest bases for aircraft leasing with 60% of the market. Ireland also offers a depth of knowledge in airport infrastructure development, supporting software/technology expertise combined with sector-specific training and consulting skills.

–          In India, the sector is expected to witness significant growth on the back of multibillion dollar purchases which are likely to be made by the Indian Defence forces in the next few years.  Some 200 airports together with a range of support services will be developed in India over the next decade. In the aerospace sector India has developed an impressive space programme and requires collaboration to take it to the next stage.

–          The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is a profitable commercial semi state company employing approximately 650 people at five main locations in Ireland. The IAA is responsible for the provision of Air Traffic Management (ATM) in Irish controlled airspace (covering some 451,000 square km) as well as aeronautical communications on the North Atlantic. The IAA operates one of the most modern ATM systems in the world and safely manages over one million flights every year. The IAA is also responsible for safety and security regulation of the civil aviation industry and ensures that Irish civil aviation operates to the highest international safety standards. Its regulatory functions include aircraft airworthiness certification and registration; the licensing of pilots, air traffic controllers, radio officers and aerodromes licensing and aircraft  maintenance organisations; aviation security oversight; and the approval and surveillance of air carrier operating standards and of general aviation. The IAA receives no OPERATIONAL or CAPEX funding from the State, its revenues are generated through charges and fees, which are amongst the lowest in Europe, raised from its regulatory clients and airline customers in respect of its regulatory and operational activities. For more information please see

–          The KFVC team has consulted with key industry and Government representatives in India and Ireland and will co-ordinate the information provided.

–          daa ‘s principal activities include the operation and management of Dublin and Cork airports, global airport retailing through our subsidiary ARI, and the provision of airport services and training through daa International. daa is State-owned and headquartered at Dublin Airport. Group turnover in 2013 was €501 million. Dublin Airport handled a total of 20.1 million passengers in 2013 while Cork Airport handled 2.3 million passengers last year.

–          daa subsidiary ARI is a major shareholder in Delhi Duty Free, which operates 3,500 sq. metres of retail space at Terminal 3 (T3) at Indira Gandhi International Airport. T3 ranks as the sixth-largest airport in the world with a 34 million passenger handling capacity. ARI’s retail offering at Delhi comprises 1,500 sq. metres in arrivals and 2,000 sq. metres in departures outlets. Turnover at the business exceeded $120 million in 2013.

–          daa International provides the airport operational expertise and knowledge of daa Group to parties participating in airport transactions. daa International also provides strategic specialist advice to airports and long term concessionaires on key operational and revenue enhancing activities. daa International also has a specialised business unit – Dublin International Aviation Training Academy (DIATA) – that is focused on providing airport professionals with training through a range of fully accredited training programmes.

–          Founded in 2008, the IIBA is now the leading representative business and networking organisation in Ireland for companies interested in the Indian market and vice versa. As a member-driven non-profit organisation, the IIBA facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration between Irish and Indian business communities.