Karnataka’s aerospace park at Devanahalli may get three-fold bigger
We plan to acquire another 2,000 acres of land adjacent to the park: Vidyashankar

Karnataka’s flagship aerospace park coming up at Devanahalli may get three times bigger than planned and add 2,000 acres, according to a senior bureaucrat.

The 980-acre Bangalore Aerospace Park has already attracted investments from 56 large and mid-sized companies.

It has been booked to the extent of almost 85 per cent, including in the 250-acre special economic zone within it. Just about 150 acres are left to be allocated.

With demand for it rising from new and old investors, “we plan to acquire another 2,000 acres of land adjacent to the park,” M.N. Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary, Commerce & Industries, told The Hindu recently.

The State-owned Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) “has been asked to survey potential land parcels and once the survey is completed, we will be taking the proposal to the board of the KIADB,” he said.

KIADB is the nodal agency tasked to acquire and develop land for the aerospace park, which will house mainly aerospace research and design companies in Karnataka’s ambitious project.

Big landings

The SEZ adjoining the international airport is meant to push exports. While the park has received investments of Rs. 7,000 crore, big-ticket residents European Aerospace and Defence Systems, defence public enterprises Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. and BEML, Dynamatic Technologies and Jupiter Aviation are among those planning to roost in the area with large investments.

The aero park will have residential enclaves for the hundreds of people who will be working in the zone.

Mr. Vidyashankar said: “The demand [from investors] is good and we are very strong in aerospace, especially electronics and software which form the core 65 per cent in an aircraft. We hope to cash in on this advantage.”

As icing on the cake, it has also marked out 10 to 20 acres for an aerospace-focussed skill development and precision engineering institute for micro, small and medium scale industries which the Union MSME ministry plans to develop at a cost Rs. 120 crore.

Around 65 per cent of the country’s aerospace related activities come out of Bangalore and its neighbourhood because of the presence of defence enterprise Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., the Indian Space Research Organisation and the cluster of defence aerospace labs.

It is also home to R&D centres of Boeing, GE and Airbus.

After marking its space in information technology and biotechnology, Karnataka has placed its bets on aerospace and expects to attract industries that by 2017 will invest $ 5 billion (around Rs. 30,000 crore at current exchange rates) and create 4,000 to 5,000 jobs in the highly skilled area.

An aerospace policy unveiled during the February Aero India spells out its aspirational road map to make the State a natural draw for civil and defence aerospace companies. It already hosts some 2,000 companies, most of them in Bangalore.

A handful of European companies are present in the 300-acre private SEZ started in Belgaum in 2009 by aerospace engineering solutions company QueST Global.

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