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India - United States pursue bilateral cooperation in the Civil Aviation Sector

Washington, DC
June 12, 2009 

Mr. Madhavan Nambiar, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, accompanied by Director General of Civil Aviation, Dr. Nasim Zaidi; Chairman, Airports Authority of India, Mr. V.P. Agrawal and other officials, visited Washington DC during June 10-12, 2009. They held useful meetings with officials of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Transportation (DoT) and the US Trade & Development Agency (USTDA). The delegation was the first foreign delegation to meet with Mr. Randolph Babbitt, who was appointed earlier this month as the Administrator of FAA.

The objective of the visit was to review the progress in implementation of the Open Skies Agreement signed in April 2005 and the Aviation Cooperation Programme (ACP) signed in June 2007 and to discuss issues of mutual concern.

In the meetings, Secretary Nambiar recalled the steady increase of air traffic between the two countries since the signing of the Open Skies Agreement stimulating the bilateral economic partnership and strengthening people to people contacts. The two sides discussed the future direction of the bilateral cooperation and agreed to work towards making ACP more productive for India in its efforts to modernize the civil aviation Industry and to meet the challenges of its rapid expansion in terms of safety, technology and communication support and air space management. 

It was agreed that the next India - US Aviation Summit would be held in the US on mutually convenient dates in December 2009.

During the visit, an agreement was signed between the US Trade & Development Agency and Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India to fund a number of projects under the US - India Aviation Cooperation Programme. 

This was the first senior-level official visit from India after the elections. This also reflects the leading role of the civil aviation sector in the commercial and economic relationship between the two countries. Over 2004-07, India imported more than $11 billion worth of aviation-related products from the United States.