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Boeing plans maintenance base in Nagpur

January 11, 2006 20:50 IST

In what could be one of the biggest foreign investment in recent years, American aircraft manufacturer Boeing is likely to set up its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) base at Nagpur in Maharashtra worth $100 million.

Indications to this effect became clear after a Boeing company delegation called on Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh at Sahyadri guest house in Mumbai on Wednesday. Deshmukh invited Boeing to set up its facility in Nagpur.

The chief minister, who had visited Seattle in the United States during his visit to that country last year, had invited the company to invest in Maharashtra.

Boeing president and CEO Alan Mulally and senior vice president (sales) Dinesh Keskar met Deshmukh to discuss the possibility of setting up the MRO base.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mulally said Boeing will invest $100 million in the MRO base and another $75 million for pilot training facility in India.

Keskar said Boeing was looking at Maharashtra as a major contender.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel was also present at the meeting.

Deshmukh told the visitors that the government was ready to allot a 125-150 acre plot at Nagpur, near the upcoming cargo hub project, to develop the base.

He said the entire area has been given the status of a special economic zone (SEZ) and hence Boeing would get all the incentives by setting up the base. Similarly, as per the labour laws in the state, the government intervenes in any labour related dispute to help resolve the matter amicably.

Nagpur, which is situated in central India, is well connected by rail and air. Besides, the city is pollution free and ranked third in the country in terms of greenery. Similarly, water is available in abundance in the region, Deshmukh said.

Patel told the visiting Boeing delegation that domestic airline Indian (formerly known as Indian Airlines) will set up a main centre in Nagpur, while the National Air Training centre will be set up in Gondia region of Vidarbha.

He also said Nagpur was an ideal location for setting up the MRO base, especially in view of the latest acquisition of 68 jets from Boeing by Air India.

He said international flights would start operations from Aurangabad next year.

Mulally said the chief minister's assurances on a single window scheme and other incentives were attractive and added that his company would consider Maharashtra's offer on a priority basis while comparing proposals from other states in India.