In a major boost to India’s helicopter MRO ecosystem, Airbus Helicopters has partnered with Indamer to service the country’s helicopter fleet. The companies inaugurated a joint Indamer-Airbus Helicopter MRO facility Dec. 8. at the Multi Modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur.

“This is going to boost the MRO ecosystem in India,” Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadanvis said during the inauguration speech, echoing the sentiments of the Indian government’s Make in India initiative. He added that a new aviation policy will be drafted for Maharashtra state, eyeing developments in India’s aviation market with a specific focus on MRO. “There will be a time when helicopter production will begin here,” said Fadanvis.

There are more than 125 Airbus helicopters currently operating in the India and South Asia region. Airbus says the strategic partnership will provide quicker turnaround for servicing and create an efficient aftermarket experience for helicopters in the region.

Noting India’s quickly expanding, helicopter-centric market, Romain Trapp, executive vice president for customer support and services at Airbus Helicopters, noted that the OEM will provide technical competencies to help advance the country’s helicopter MRO ambitions.

As a part of the deal, Indamer will provide MRO services for Airbus helicopters at its facilities in Mumbai, New Delhi and Nagpur under authorization from Airbus Helicopters. Indamer also operates a facility in Pune. Its Nagpur facility currently only caters to Airbus A320s, servicing approximately 60 aircraft annually.

Indamer established its helicopter MRO division more than a decade ago. “Since then, Indamer is concentrating on addressing the increasing demands of Indian customers for helicopters,” said Director Prajay Patel. He added that helicopter maintenance requirements of Indian operators can now be effectively fulfilled domestically with the right support.

Airbus Helicopters’ collaboration with Indamer is the latest development in Airbus’ efforts to expand its footprint in India. It recently signed a deal with Hindustan Aeronautics to set up an A320 MRO facility in Nashik. Airbus has also partnered with various schools in the country, such as IIT-Kanpur and Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya, to develop skilled workforce. Last year it partnered with MRO provider GMR Aero Technic to develop the GMR School of Aviation, which is providing aircraft maintenance training under authorization from India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

Airbus is also planning to hire another 2,000 engineers in India over the next two years, increasing its total engineering staff to 5,000.

Airbus Helicopters was the first foreign OEM to set up a customer center dedicated to the Indian market in 2010, with presence in key cities across the country.

The OEM is also playing an active role in developing new market segments in India, such as helicopter emergency medical services, airborne law enforcement and urban air mobility.