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UTC Life Rafts Will Be First U.S. Exports From India
UTC Aerospace Systems has become the first U.S. company to manufacture aerospace products in India under the terms of a bilateral aviation safety agreement (BASA) signed in 2011 by the U.S. FAA and India’s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The agreement gives blanket approval for manufacturing U.S. aerospace products in India (or vice versa).
At a factory in Bangalore in southern India, UTC Aerospace Systems–which includes the former Goodrich businesses acquired in 2012–started making life rafts for unspecified business aircraft. Under the terms of the BASA, UTC and other U.S. companies are expected to start manufacturing a variety of products for general aviation aircraft, including seats, lighting, batteries and components.
The FAA initially granted UTC “shadow certification” for the life rafts, having ensured that the DGCA had the required skills and training in place to provide technical oversight of the production process in Bangalore. The recent signing of implementation procedures for airworthiness between the two agencies will allow UTC to start delivering equipment certified by the DGCA to customers, including both OEMs and aircraft owners. UTC Aerospace Systems vice president Chris Rao said that the company expects to start exporting from India in around three to six months.
The U.S. has now signed BASA agreements with 24 countries. Many of these are in Europe, but they also include Japan and China in Asia.