There has been a steady increase in military, civil and business aircraft fleet in the country. Is the Indian MRO industry well-equipped to handle this growth?
Yes. There has indeed a large increase of interaction between civil-military MRO over the last one year under the government’s CIVIL-MILITARY CONVERGENCE programme. Much interaction has happened between the defence forces, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and the Indian MRO companies. Only in March 2022 HAL has signed MOUs, Contracts etc. with Air India Engineering Services Ltd, MAX MRO, Shaurya Aeronautics, etc. for joint ventures between the Indian MROs and various divisions of HAL. This is an ongoing process. The Indian MRO industry is well equipped to cope up with this growth.
New aircraft types with new technologies, new materials, and new engines have created new demands and challenges for the commercial maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities. What kind of fire prevention systems are being deployed to ensure safety and security?
The aviation industry, whether an airline, MRO, Cargo, ground handling and many such activities are highly regulated by safety rules laid down by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) which is strictly followed by every country. Indian aviation is no different. DGCA and AAI overseas that all operators comply to them religiously.
What are some of the fire-protection regulations that must be complied with in an aircraft?
Every aircraft, either civil or military, or commercial jets or business jets, private or training aircraft are equipped with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) laid down fire prevention systems and DGCA and MROs have an oversite of these equipment.
Could you tell us more about the fire prevention system in an aircraft of passive solutions?
The fire-fighting system is one of the most important aspects in the design of an aircraft. An aircraft usually uses both passive systems and active systems. Materials used in the passenger compartment interior are self-extinguishing: for example, the material that insulates the electrical cables must be self-extinguishing. Even the thermal/acoustic insulation installed behind the internal cabin panels is equipped with adequate fireproof properties to delay the onset of fires in the cabin in the event of an accident.
What role do you envisage for forums such as FIRE SAFE BUILD INDIA to raise awareness about the topic of passive fire protection within the context of aviation Industry in India?
FIRE SAFE BUILD INDIA is a great initiative to bring technology from the passive fire technology side catering to multiple industries. As compared to active measures, passive measures are preventive in nature and ensure safety and protection at the source. Forums such as FSBI are perfect platforms to discover new technology providers and interact with domain experts. We are looking forward to the event in February and hope to discover new products and solutions.