The government released its Karnataka Aerospace Policy 2013-2023, which envisages making the state a regional hub for the aerospace industry.
Defence Minister A K Antony released the policy on Wednesday before the inauguration of the biennial air show, Aero India 2013. The state government has envisioned an investment of `24,000 crore in the sector in their Phase I (2013-18) and Rs 36,000 crore in Phase II (2018-23). The policy states that the two phases will generate employment for over 1 lakh people.
The two phases are said to increase the contribution of aerospace to the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) to 28-30 pc in Phase I and up to 32 pc in Phase II. The scope of the sector will include aerospace industry and developing infrastructure.
The policy outlines strategies like boosting exports, onus on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and a focus on a cluster approach. The south cluster will include Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore, the central cluster will have Davangere and Chitradurga and Belgaum and Bidar will make up the north cluster.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said the government has initiated measures to operationalise Gulbarga and Shimoga airports this year. “Airstrips in each district will boost short-haul aviation,” he said, and added that air connectivity using intrastate ATR aircraft was being considered. There is a proposal to identify a private operator on select routes, he said.
Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani said several companies have already shown interest in investing over $1 billion at the 1,000-acre Aerospace Park in the outskirts of Bangalore. These include Boeing and Jupiter Aerospace, he added.
The government will also set up of a Rs 300-crore venture capital fund called the Karnataka Aerospace Venture Capital Fund (KARAVEN) for funding MSMEs and R&D grants, he said.