New Delhi, Oct 17: India and New Zealand Wednesday entered into an agreement for cooperation in civil aviation.
The agreement envisages civil aviation programmes, exchange of training experts, acceptance of licenses, acceptance of aeronautical products and aviation services.
“This agreement provides a framework of cooperation that can be looked upon and promoted in the civil aviation sector of both the countries,” Richard White, commissioner for New Zealand trade and enterprise, told IANS here.
“Currently there are a number of New Zealand-based companies which are providing airport services in Delhi and Mumbai. A lot of Indian students get trained for the aviation sector in New Zealand,” White added.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Indian Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh and New Zealand’s Minister of economic development and tertiary education, Steven Joyce.
One of the main aspect of the arrangement deals with promotion and development of training and technical cooperation in the field of civil aviation.
Currently on an average 100 Indian students get their training for commercial pilots licence (CPL) in New Zealand. The CPL is accepted in India after the student clears an examination by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
“There is alot of potential for training in the area of aviation between India and New Zealand. The New Zealand CPL is well recognised and more and more Indian students have been showing interest in coming there,” John Nicholson, chief executive, Aviation New Zealand, said.
Meanwhile, on bilateral aviation trade, Nicholson said there was tremendous interest from both the sides.
New Zealand exports nearly around $40 million (New Zealand dollars) worth of aviation sector services to India per annum.
“Not just services on Indian airports but we are also looking at the opportunities in the third markets to develop airports in partnership with Indian companies in the areas such as the southeast Asia,” said Adam Bennett, customer director, New Zealand trade and enterprise.
To take the process forward, a joint committee will also be formed to determine and oversee mutually acceptable activities.
Both the sides accepted the fact that there is no direct air connectivity between the two countries, even as a sizeable Indian origin population stays in New Zealand.
There is a provision in the arrangement to provide the designated airlines of both sides to seven services per week in each direction.
– Indo-Asian News Service