Praful Patel sees scope to extend India-US aviation sector ties further

Civil aviation minister Praful Patel has called upon US companies to show a long-term commitment beyond just exporting to India, as there was immense scope for mutually beneficial cooperation in the aviation sector.

"They should seriously explore the possibility of establishing manufacturing bases and investing in aviation infrastructure like airports," he said during his talks with US transportation secretary Ray LaHood.

Patel also held meetings with secretary of commerce Gary Locke and federal aviation administrator Randy Babbitt in Washington yesterday.

In the meetings, both sides acknowledged the positive role of aviation in improving connectivity between the two countries, since the signing of the Open Skies agreement in 2005.

The civil aviation sector had emerged as the fastest growing component of bilateral trade, accounting for about 15 per cent of US exports to India.

Patel said the two countries could have mutually beneficial partnerships in general and in aviation, in particular.