The industrially backward region of Vidarbha seems to have hit good times after US aircraft manufacturer, Boeing decided to set up its $100 million maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) base at Nagpur.
Three more firms specialising in the sector, have evinced interest in starting similar services from the city.
These include, US-based Timco Aviation Services, Mumbai-based Max Aerospace and Aviation, as well as Lufthansa Technik AG of Germany through its wholly-owned subsidiary, One Stop Airline MRO Support Private.
Sources confirmed that Timco and Max Aerospace had made inquiries with officials of the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC).
Lufthansa Technik's proposal for setting up operations through One Stop Airline MRO Support had been cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. The site, however, is yet to be finalised and Nagpur is very much on the cards.
While Timco and Max Aerospace are purely in the MRO service sector, One Stop MRO Support will provide spare parts and consumables to be used in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft as well.
MADC has been given the responsibility of creating infrastructure facilities for the ambitious multi-modal air cargo and passenger hub for the Nagpur (Mihan) project.
Sources said, Timco has demanded about 50 acre land from MADC and had plans to invest around Rs 400-450 crore (Rs 4-4.5 billion) in the MRO facility. This is almost as much as what Boeing has committed for its MRO base.
A team of Timco with MADC officials has already conducted a survey for selection of land. They have surveyed land near the Special Economic Zone (SEZ), sources said.
Timco, based at Greensboro, North Carolina, specialises in four different businesses of MRO and modification of heavy jet aircraft, as well as a provider of engine component and flight control repair and overhaul.
Max Aerospace is scouting for 10 acre land for a smaller MRO facility. The company plans to also pump in Rs 25 crore (Rs 250 million) for the project.
Max Aerospace is the nation's leading private sector MRO and has been in the business since 1994. Its engineering facility is located in Mumbai, from where it offers supports for a variety of aircraft. The requests of both firms - Timco and Max Aerospace - are under the consideration of MADC.