In a groundbreaking event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the sprawling new Boeing India Engineering & Technology Center (BIETC) in Bengaluru, Karnataka. This 43-acre campus, built with a whopping investment of Rs. 1,600 crores, is not just Boeing’s biggest investment outside the USA but a shimmering beacon of India’s aviation aspirations.
Adding wings to dreams, the Prime Minister also launched the ambitious ‘Boeing Sukanya Program’. This initiative is set to propel more girl children from every corner of India into the high-flying aviation sector. It’s a runway to the skies for aspiring young females, breaking barriers and elevating opportunities in a traditionally male-dominated field.
Stephanie Pope, COO of Boeing Company, was all praise for the Prime Minister’s commitment to aviation growth in India. She highlighted that the new BIETC campus is not just a testament to Boeing’s engineering prowess but also a nod to India’s rich talent pool and capability in the sector. This new hub is envisioned to be a cradle of innovation, driving advancements in aviation technology. As Pope put it, this campus is set to be a shining example of the Prime Minister’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) initiative.
PM Modi, addressing the audience, lauded Bengaluru’s role as a nexus between aspirations and achievements. He remarked that the new Boeing facility reinforces India’s commitment to becoming a global leader in technology and aviation. He expressed his vision of India designing future aircraft right from this facility.
The inauguration of this facility marks a significant milestone in Karnataka’s journey to becoming an aviation hub. The Prime Minister underscored the importance of women’s participation in every sector, particularly aviation, where India proudly boasts that 15 percent of its pilots are women – thrice the global average.
The Boeing Sukanya Program goes beyond mere participation; it’s an endeavor to empower and equip young girls and women with the necessary skills in STEM and aviation. This includes establishing STEM labs in middle schools and providing scholarships for pilot training.
The Prime Minister also reflected on India’s growing stature in the aviation sector, highlighting the success of projects like Chandrayaan that have ignited scientific curiosity among Indian youth. He pointed out the significant role of the aviation sector in India’s overall growth and employment generation, with the country now emerging as the world’s third-largest domestic aviation market.
Reiterating the government’s efforts to enhance connectivity infrastructure, PM Modi emphasized the rise in operational airports and the enhancement of air cargo capacity. He stressed the importance of policy measures to sustain and accelerate aviation sector growth, including initiatives to reduce aviation fuel taxes and simplify aircraft leasing.
As India strides towards its goal of becoming a developed nation in the next 25 years, the Prime Minister encouraged international companies like Boeing to sync their growth with India’s rapid rise. With a focus on ‘Make in India’, he exuded confidence in India’s potential to lead the aerospace sector, even hinting at Boeing’s first fully designed and manufactured aircraft in India in the near future.
The event was graced by notable dignitaries including the Governor of Karnataka, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, and President of Boeing India and South Asia, Mr. Salil Gupte.
In essence, the inauguration of BIETC and the launch of the Boeing Sukanya Program is not just a milestone for Boeing or India’s aviation sector. It’s a flight into the future, where India’s technological prowess meets its aspirations, and where young Indian girls can aspire to soar the skies as leaders in aerospace.