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USTDA AWARDS GRANT TO FURTHER THE SAFE EXPANSION OF HELICOPTER OPERATIONS IN INDIA

U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer (left) and Dr. S.N.A. Zaidi (right), Director General of Civil Aviation, shake hands in front of a Bell 407 helicopter following the signing of the USTDA grant agreement.
U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer (left) and Dr. S.N.A. Zaidi (right), Director General of Civil Aviation, shake hands in front of a Bell 407 helicopter following the signing of the USTDA grant agreement.

NEW DELHI, INDIA (August 28, 2009) – Today, USTDA awarded a grant to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India to help update regulations and practices governing helicopter operations. The USTDA grant, to be carried out under the auspices of the U.S.-India Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP), will aid in the growth and development of India’s civil aviation sector by fostering increases in the volume of helicopter operations in the expanding Indian market.

The USTDA grant illustrates the growing working relationship between the Indian and U.S. aviation sectors that will lead to heightened exchange of technology and knowledge, safety standards, and efficiency. This assistance is strongly backed by both governments and endorsed by the two countries’ aviation sectors under the U.S.-India ACP.

The grant agreement, valued at $501,849, was signed at an award ceremony at Safdarjang Airport in New Delhi by U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer and by Dr. S.N.A. Zaidi, Director General of Civil Aviation.

"Today, the U.S.-India Aviation Cooperation Program expands into a new area," Ambassador Roemer noted after the signing, "The signing of the Helicopter Aviation Safety Technical Assistance project, led by Bell Helicopter, will provide expertise to improve India’s expanding helicopter sector and will expand opportunities for increased trade between our two countries."

The grant to DGCA will fund technical assistance to improve India’s helicopter safety through pilot training and certification, accident investigation training, heliports, and helicopter flight routes.

Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Fort Worth, Texas), a company that is active in the commercial helicopter market in India, will provide the technical assistance and provide additional resources toward its completion.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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