ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra Chairman Air Marshal Arshad Malik has invited the private sector to undertake aviation-related ventures in the country, including development of parts for JF-17 Thunder aircraft.

“The PAC Kamra is looking for new design and development programmes like upgrading Super Mushshak aircraft, development of unmanned aerial and many more. Besides, there is an ambitious and prestigious programme for development of systems and accessories for JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter aircraft,” Air Marshal Malik said during his visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday.

He stressed the need for exploring possibilities of collaboration in the defence industry and identified four areas as a way forward for the private sector in the defence-related aviation sector — upgrade of PAC Kamra for manufacturing of auto parts, commercial engines and industrial gas turbines and calibration of equipment.

The PAC chief said the aviation industry offered great potential to the private sector for joint ventures, partnerships and investment.

He said the aviation sector was compelled to import equipment and parts worth millions of dollars for its manufacturing and assembly units and asked the private sector to come forward to meet the supplies that would save precious foreign exchange and give boost to the local industry.

“The private sector can invest in PAC facilities on a public-private partnership basis for upgradation, modification and capacity enhancement of the existing facilities and creating new facilities at Kamra,” he said.

The entrepreneurs were offered investment opportunities as joint venture to augment the existing T-56 (Rolls-Royce) engine facility at PAC Kamra and develop new PT6 engines for aircraft.

“Production of non-technical as well as less technical parts and accessories should be taken up in the start. These includes weapons grade and aviation standard raw material, rubber, cables/wires, A/C batteries, paints, aircraft types, consumables/chemicals, metals, generators and other components to the aviation industry that will save foreign exchange and add to the strengthening of local industry,” the PAC chairman added.

The ICCI members were also invited to invest in the upcoming PAC project in Kamra – establishment of an educational city and entrepreneurship centre.

ICCI president Khalid Iqbal Malik suggested that an expert group be formed to develop feasibilities for effective participation by the private sector in the aviation industry.

“We need to address matters related to aviation grades, standards and certifications,” he said, adding that the PAC should also take other major chambers of the country on board for developing long-term public-private partnership in the aviation industry.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2016