In a boost to 'Make in India' initiative, the U.S. aerospace major Boeing has announced a new logistics centre in India to cater to its regional customers. Boeing is one of the major exhibitors at Aero India 2023, the biennial event that is seeing the participation of 809 Indian and foreign companies. Though the company has not disclosed financial details, reports say the initial investment will be worth about ₹200 crore.

The company says in the initial phase, the India Logistics Center (ILC) will support airline customers as the civil aviation sector eyes to be the world’s third-largest passenger market, surpassed only by the U.S. and China.

The move comes amid report that Boeing has bagged orders for 220 passenger aircraft by Tata group-owned Air India. Of the entire lot, 190 will be single-aisle B737 Max planes, 20 will be B787 Dreamliners and 10 B777X planes. Currently, more than 150 Boeing aeroplanes, including the Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX, 757, 777, and 787 Dreamliner are operated by leading Indian commercial airlines.

The fleet of Indian airlines is projected to nearly quadruple in size by 2041, compared to 2019. "With a growing domestic market and increasing opportunities for international growth, the airlines will require more holistic service support to drive efficient fleet operations," says Boeing.

According to Salil Gupte, president, Boeing India, in the second phase, the India Logistics Center will cater to the larger network of Boeing’s customers in the region. "Through the Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) hub program, Boeing is already supporting local customers by creating an ecosystem of comprehensive support packages and indigenous Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) capabilities with its partners. This initiative is a testament to Boeing's commitment to "Make in India" and "Aatmanirbhar Bharat".

In a statement, Boeing also announced the launch of its first Global Support Center (GSC) in India will support the aviation ecosystem. Based in Gurgaon, the centre will deliver “customised operational efficiency and safety improvement projects” for Boeing’s airline customers, civil aviation regulatory bodies and other industry stakeholders.

Gupte said: "Today, we are proud to launch the Global Support Center - India, which will provide a platform to enable knowledge transfer for enhancing safety and increasing operational efficiency for Boeing’s airline partners in the country.” He said the expansion of Boeing's footprint in the country shows its commitment to providing critical service support for the Indian civil and defence aviation ecosystem.

The GSC will conduct technical workshops and projects to support aircraft reliability, enhance performance, and encourage the adoption of airplane health management (AHM) systems. For operational improvements, it'll work with operators and regulators on structures and airworthiness. It'll also work on the maintenance error decision aid (MEDA), a human-factors tool; air traffic management (ATM); aerospace optimisation; and low visibility operation through the head-up display (HUD) and enhanced flight vision system (EFVS).

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