The following is an extract from an interview with Eric Trappier — chairman of French aerospace industry association GIFAS and chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation — about Aero India 2019 and the implications of the Make in India initiative for the French aerospace and defence industry. The full interview will appear in an upcoming issue of our online magazine Air & Cosmos International.
What steps has French industry taken in India over the past year?
Eric Trappier: “It should be recalled that one of GIFAS's main missions is to increase the firepower of its members, particularly small/medium and intermediate-size companies, and to provide support for coordination, promotion and marketing and commercial development. The intention of GIFAS is to help its members penetrate specific new international markets and collectively open doors that companies would be unable to open on their own. I want companies in the French aerospace supply chain to be able to grow in the most promising markets, where French technology is appreciated and sought after, as is the case in India.
Since this mission to India a year ago, the French aerospace industry has not just expressed its intentions but has kept its commitments in terms of investment. Some 15 projects of GIFAS member groups and companies have been implemented, including the creation of new industrial sites, the establishment of partnerships and joint ventures, and the opening of branch offices. Several of these were announced at Aero India 2019. I was very proud to be able to present on the Dassault Aviation stand the first Falcon 2000 cockpit front section produced by Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL), our local joint venture, in its Nagpur facility.
GIFAS, meanwhile, opened an office in New Delhi in December, staffed by a permanent representative, and set up a GIFAS India Committee to improve coordination between local manufacturers. GIFAS is supporting its members in French industry's commitment to Make in India. Broadly speaking, the French aeronautics industry is investing in India and delivering on its promises! This is an important message for the Indian authorities and for our Indian industrial partners.”