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India, Russia strengthen bilateral cooperation in aviation

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ST. PETERSBURG (PTI): India and Russia on Thursday agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the aviation sector by setting up joint ventures in the field of manufacturing, as India is set to become the third largest global aviation market by 2020.

"The Regional Connectivity Scheme of the government of India provides an opportunity for strengthening cooperation in joint production and setting up of joint ventures in India in the field of aviation manufacturing to serve the demand created," according to vision documents, issued after the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The move is aimed to cater to increasing exports and demands of India's regional air connectivity scheme.

The Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, too, provides incentives for made-in-India aircraft and encourages global OEMs for establishing aircraft assembly plant in India, including fast-tracking clearances.

India is the fastest growing aviation market in the world and has become the third largest domestic aviation market in terms of domestic passenger traffic, beating Japan, according to Sydney-based aviation think-tank Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

India's domestic air passenger traffic stood at 100 million in 2016 and was behind only the US (719 million) and China (436 million), as per CAPA.

This is likely to grow manifold with the launch of government's UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme that seeks to take flying to the masses with airfares capped at Rs 2,500 per hour.

The joint declaration also focuses on development of high speed railways, dedicated freight corridors, new technologies for efficient rail transport as well as ship-building and river navigation.

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