June 03, 2013
Pilatus plans to establish a manufacturing facility in India, as the country looks at acquiring more aircraft from the Swiss aircraft maker.
The facility will initially manufacture airframes for its single-engine turboprop PC-12 aircraft.
“This will be our third support facility for PC-12 aircraft, the other two being in Portugal and Poland. It will be part of our offset commitment in India,” says Pilatus Vice President Jim Roche.
Plans call for shipping the airframes to Switzerland for final assembly.
“In the initial stage we will be manufacturing only the airframes of PC-12, which will come back to Switzerland to be assembled into final aircraft,” Roche says.
The company is currently looking for a location. Roche didn’t give a timeframe for construction.
Pilatus has so far sold 1,200 PC-12 aircraft worldwide. The nine-seater is used for surveillance, evacuation and disaster management operations.
“We see India as a large market for the future. We are in discussions with various companies on how we can expand the operations here in India to produce aircraft in India,” Roche says.
India also has about a dozen PC-12 aircraft. Pilatus has contracts in place with state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL). “Our vision is to establish through the offset policy the capability which will be a starting point for developing our position in India for the future,” he adds.